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DES MOINES — Most of the United States gained an hour of sleep over the weekend and were welcomed by a much earlier sunrise and sunset. Daylight saving time is to thank for that.

While some are calling for an end to daylight saving, others say it’s still important for saving on electricity bills.

While many believe daylight saving time was created for farmers, giving them an extra hour of sunlight during the warmer months to work on the fields, in reality it is actually to help reduce electricity in buildings, giving them more time to utilize daylighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Daylighting is simply the practice of placing windows, skylights, other openings, and reflective surfaces so that the sunlight can provide effective internal lighting, thus not needing to turn on lights. While it’s main use is in the summer, Window World Des Moines says it is important in the winter, too. Taking advantage of the sun can not only bring natural light and help warm up your home, but it can also help lift spirits.

Window World Des Moines said opening up blinds and making sure you have Energy Star rated windows can help ensure you are taking advantage of the sun and staying warm this winter.

In 2007, the United States expanded daylight saving time, so we are springing forward in March and falling back in November.

In 2008, experts at the U.S. Department of Energy studied the impact of that extended daylight saving time found that the extra four weeks of daylight saving time saved about a 0.5 percent in total electricity per day. While it doesn’t sound like a lot, it adds up to 1.3 billion kilowatt hours, which is the amount of electricity used by more than 100,000 households for an entire year.