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When planning a trip or coordinating schedules between Michigan and Hawaii, it’s useful to know the time difference between these two states located far apart. With Michigan positioned in the Midwest on Eastern Time and the Hawaiian islands sitting in Central Pacific Time, there is quite a gap in hours that needs to be accounted for.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There is a 6 hour time difference between Michigan (Eastern Time Zone) and Hawaii (Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone).

In this detailed guide, we will break down the time zones that Michigan and Hawaii observe, look at why the time difference exists, and provide examples of the time differences for convenience.

Understanding Time Zones

Michigan’s Eastern Time Zone

The U.S. state of Michigan is located in the Eastern Time Zone (ET). This time zone observes standard time by subtracting five hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), putting it five hours behind UTC during standard time periods.

The Eastern Time Zone includes states like New York, Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina in addition to Michigan. Major Michigan cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Lansing are all in the ET zone.

Michigan has been part of the Eastern Time Zone for over 100 years. The Eastern Time Zone was established in 1883 when North American railroads instituted a four time zone system. Since then, the boundaries have shifted at times, but Michigan has remained in the ET zone.

Being in the Eastern Time Zone means sunrises and sunsets in Michigan happen at roughly the same local times as other Eastern Time cities like Boston, Atlanta, and Miami. For example, on the summer solstice, sunrise in Detroit happens around 6:05am and sunset around 9:05pm local time.

Hawaii’s Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone

The U.S. state of Hawaii is located in the Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone (HST). This unique time zone spans over 3,900 miles from the Hawaii in the north to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska in the west.

The HST zone observes Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time (HST) by subtracting 10 hours from UTC, putting Hawaii 10 hours behind UTC. This gives Hawaii an unusual UTC offset not found in any other U.S. state.

Prior to 1947, some Hawaiian islands like Oahu were on a different half-hour offset from HST. But since then Hawaii has observed standard time by subtracting 10 hours from UTC year-round as part of HST.

Being in such an unusual time zone means Hawaii has very early sunrises and late sunsets compared to other U.S. states. For example, on the summer solstice sunrise in Honolulu happens around 5:20am and sunset around 7:10pm local time.

Explaining the 6 Hour Time Difference

Counting Time Zones West from Michigan to Hawaii

There is a 6 hour time difference between Michigan and Hawaii primarily due to the difference in time zones. Michigan is located in the Eastern Time Zone, which is 5 time zones behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

On the other hand, Hawaii is located in the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone, which is 10 time zones behind UTC.

When counting the time zones from east to west, there is a 6 hour difference between Eastern Time (Michigan) and Hawaii-Aleutian Time (Hawaii). Michigan is 5 time zones behind UTC, while Hawaii is 10 time zones behind UTC.

With each time zone accounting for a 1 hour difference, there is a total of 6 hours separating Michigan and Hawaii time zones.

Daylight Saving Time Differences

In addition to the time zone difference, Daylight Saving Time (DST) contributes to the time gap between Michigan and Hawaii. Michigan observes DST from mid-March to early November each year. During DST, clocks in Michigan “spring forward” 1 hour.

Meanwhile, Hawaii does not observe DST at all due to its proximity to the equator.

This means that for about 8 months of the year while Michigan is on DST, there is a 7 hour difference between Michigan and Hawaii since Hawaii does not change its clocks. For example, from March 12 – November 5, 2023, there will be a 7 hour gap with Michigan being ahead.

For the remaining 4 months of standard time, the 6 hour difference explained by time zones applies.

How the Time Difference Impacts Communication and Travel

Scheduling Calls and Virtual Meetings

With a 6-hour time difference between Michigan and Hawaii, scheduling calls and virtual meetings across these two locations can be tricky. When it’s 9 AM in Michigan, it’s only 3 AM in Hawaii – likely too early for most people to hop on a video call.

Similarly, when it’s 5 PM in Michigan and people are wrapping up their workdays, it’s still just 11 AM in Hawaii.

To make it work, compromises often need to be made around finding a mutually suitable time. Scheduling meetings for late morning or mid-afternoon Michigan time tends to work decently. Though there’s no perfect time, being flexible and willing to occasionally meet outside of normal work hours makes cross-time zone communication possible.

Coordinating Travel Plans

When traveling between time zones, preparation is key. Before departing Michigan for a Hawaii trip, travelers should start adjusting their sleep schedules in advance to match Hawaiian time. That way, jet lag won’t hit quite as hard upon arrival.

It’s also wise to avoid planning important activities in Hawaii for the first couple days after landing while recovering from jet lag.

Similarly, travelers returning to Michigan from Hawaii need sufficient rest before their first Michigan workday to combat fatigue. Gradual pre and post-travel adjustments are vital for minimizing vacation day usage and maintaining productivity after crossing so many time zones.

Managing Time Shift Fatigue and Jet Lag

That 6-hour leap can take a real toll on people traveling frequently between Michigan and Hawaii or engaging in frequent communication across the time zones. Physical and mental fatigue often set in.

To maintain energy and focus, short daytime naps, melatonin supplements at night, exercise, hydration, and light therapy lamps can help adjust circadian rhythms. Avoiding heavy meals and excessive alcohol intake around bedtime also supports better sleep quality.

It’s key for cross-time zone travelers and communicators to know their limits and not overschedule themselves. Built in personal down time to recharge makes all the difference in effectively connecting across the 2,500+ miles between Michigan and Paradise. When managing time zone differences, patience and TLC go a long way!


To quickly recap, Michigan (Eastern Time Zone) and Hawaii (Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone) are 6 hours apart. This makes early morning video calls tough and flight times very long. Keeping the time difference of these two beautiful but distant states in mind will ensure your cross-coordination goes smoothly.

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