This past weekend was the dreaded “Spring Ahead,” and just as predictably as the time change itself were the anguished complaints of friends lamenting this ritual. But this time it’s different: the United States Senate just unanimously (by voice vote) passed a bill making Daylight Saving Time permanent. Will it become law? Time will tell (lame pun intended).
The way some of my friends talk, it’s a wonder humanity can survive this semi-annual trauma. They quote statistics about increased car crashes, strokes, heart attacks, etc. that occur after these changes.
And parents with small children? It’s chaos for weeks as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives. Kids are waking up at all ridiculous hours and don’t get used to it until it’s almost time to change again.
Some may not like this, but it’s never been a big deal to me. “Fall back” is always fun, but does anyone actually get more sleep? I usually just stay up an hour later…and each spring I too react with, “Oh no, that’s THIS weekend?”
For “spring ahead,” I like to move my watch/clocks ahead around supper time, so I’m in the right frame of mind earlier. With our kids, we started transitioning gradually a few days early–maybe getting to bed 15 minutes earlier (later in the fall) each day as it approached. I don’t remember it being that big of a deal.
Part of me wants to ask the complainers, “Don’t you ever have to get up an hour earlier for something?” or “Don’t you ever stay up an hour past your bedtime?” and “Is your life ruined for weeks after this happens?” If that’s the case, maybe you have some bigger issues you need to address…
As far as daylight itself, therein lies the rub. The closer you live to the equator, the less variety there is in the length of your days. But where I live (only slightly north of the halfway point between equator and North Pole), there’s a relatively big change in light.
It’s usually light about an hour before and after sunrise and sunset, respectively. With daylight saving time, it starts getting light by 5:00 a.m. around the first day of summer, and it doesn’t get dark until nearly 10:00 p.m. If we were to ditch daylight saving time, it would be light by 4:00 a.m.(!) and it would be getting dark by 9:00 p.m.
How about the first day of winter? Around here, sunrise and sunset are approximately 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., respectively. If we stay on daylight saving time, it won’t start getting light until around 8:30 in the morning, ewell after most people are at work or school. On the plus side, the sun will be up till around suppertime, give or take.
My dad, who was born in 1925, has never liked daylight saving time. To this day, he’ll sometimes say what time it “really” is, before lamenting how stupid all this is.
Honestly, I don’t care that much either way. I’d prefer that it stay light later in the summer, and the winter…it’s dark and cold for months either way. I just take vitamin D and try to enjoy being cozy.
Either way, no legislation can change the amount of daylight, or the hours in a day. But it’s also nice to argue about something as mundane as this for a change.
I've included some old blogs along with the new. Should you ever find yourself suffering from insomnia, this is the place for you! That's as poetic as I get...