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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Down with Daylight Saving Time

The rat race and Daylight Saving Time(DST) are a deadly combination, Literally! There is research that confirms a 10% greater risk of heart attack caused by Daylight Saving Time alone. This does not account for the way that this strange action of depriving ourselves of sleep affects society. Daylight Saving Time disrupts a person's natural circadian rhythm and makes us feel groggy. It adds stress to already stressed people.

Look at my scenario. On Sunday, when the time changed, I didn't notice too much, because I slept in and stayed home. The rude awakening came on Monday. My husband realized that the stove clock was wrong and he attempted to change it. He told me later that he could not get it to cooperate for anything and just gave up and went to work. I had that same problem with that clock, when I realized it was wrong! When he came home, he set the stove clock with no problem at all.

On his way out the door to work, he called out to me, "Wake up, It is almost 7:00." I heard him and said, "O.K." However, in my head, I was thinking that he always says it is almost ___ o'clock, at about 45 minutes until the hour to try to get me to hurry up and so I totally ignored him. I got ready as normal and the stove clock agreed with me, so I was fine.

Wrong! Sophie likes to read the time on our computer, because it is more accurate. She read that it was 8:00 am and so we were late by at least 30 minutes on Monday. On Tuesday, I woke up earlier, but I attempted to pick up a friend who wanted a ride to town and lived in the opposite direction, so I was very late again. That day I discovered that most of the people in my son's walking club did not go.         

While all of them had other reasons, I suspect that the time change played a part in their absence. I think I was late getting my children to school yesterday too, I can't really remember. Today, we were off schedule getting ready for school, but strangely enough, I think we were almost on time. However, I feel so sleep deprived and grumpy that I did not go to walk at the lake. I drove straight home and here I am, explaining to you all the reasons that I am extremely Anti-Daylight Saving Time. 

It does not make logical sense to put one fourth of the world's population through such a ridiculous ordeal! Did you know that businesses have always been the major proponents in favor of DST? Why? That's easy! It earns them more money! Farmers know the truth. DST does not give you an extra hour of daylight. The cows can't really type and so they are not ready to be milked an hour earlier. This makes it harder for farmers to meet market deadlines. I believe that the damage that DST causes is much greater than anyone imagines. I am appalled to learn that there is a bill being presented to congress by the Mississippi Legislature calling for Mississippi to adopt Daylight Saving Time as standard time year round. We would be skipping the only relief that we get from the DST madness, which is when we set our clocks back in the fall. 

photography by Janine Flint Smith

We often comment that it is so nice to get that extra hour of sleep in the fall, but it is more than that. I strongly believe everyone would see an improvement in their health if we simply use standard time all year round. That is so easy to say, that you may not have truly heard me. Perhaps the best solution is to move to Arizona or any of the other 75% of the world where Daylight Savings Time is not observed. Observed? That sounds like a religous practice or holiday. Why would we use that word for depriving ourselves of an hour of sleep every day for 6 months? Something is wrong with that.

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