2 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

The majority of the country will spring forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, meaning that many people will lose an hour of sleep.

The policy was first used in Britain and Germany during WWI as a way to conserve energy for the war effort, but wasn't widely adopted in the U.S. until after WWII.

However, experts say the policy doesn't necessarily help conserve energy. It simply changes the devices Americans use to consume it.

"What we see is that there no effect," Dr. Alex Padilla, associate professor of economics at Metropolitan State College of Denver, told 9NEWS. "People do not consume as much energy for lighting because you wake up one hour earlier in the morning, but at the same time you can see, particularly in the late months of energy time saving regulations, that people are going to use more energy for heating and cooling, therefore it compensates."

The time change can have ill effects on the environment because people are using more energy for heating and cooling. Padilla cities a study conducted in Indiana which found during daylight saving time, more coal was used to produce electricity.

"There's an issue that we don't talk about and that's the pollution resulting from increased consumption of electricity for heating and cooling. It seems that in Indiana's specific case, and it may not apply to Colorado, it seems to increase pollution as a result of daylight saving time," Padilla said.

According to Padilla there are other effects as well.

"When it comes to daylight saving time we tend to focus on energy consumption in terms of heating, lighting, and cooling but there are other impacts, for example, traffic fatalities. Studies show that in the short run it [daylight saving] increases traffic fatalities, but in the long run it decreases traffic fatalities between eight and eleven persons. In the evening when people are coming home from work because it's light outside we don't have as many traffic accidents," Padilla said.

According to Padilla there also tends to be a decrease in criminal activity during daylight saving time because of longer day.

He says all of the effects of a daylight savings policy have direct and indirect costs from an economist's standpoint.

"Traffic accidents cost money to insurers. They cost money to healthcare. Same thing from criminal activity. Criminal activity is a destruction of resources. People that lose their resource as a result of criminal activity have to replace them therefore that is costly to those people. Same thing, pollution has a cost. The cost, it's on your health for example. That's a monetary cost," Padilla said. "There are a lot of things that we don't see immediately that must be taken into account when we try to evaluate any policy."

Not everyone will experience the effects of daylight saving because not all areas of the country observe the policy. Residents in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not observe the time change and will remain on their normal schedule come March 11.

2 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE