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Daylight Savings Time


So, where do you stand? Good or bad thing?



I think I have finally decided. I think daylight savings time is disastrously bad. I would like to never do it again. I would like to live somewhere (like Arizona) where the people are not subjected to whimsical rescheduling of their entire lives.

I read an article last night that said that no one has demonstrated in modern times that the supposed reasons for DST are actually real. It's supposed to save power. I've heard that it keeps school children from having to wait for the bus in the dark. I've heard lots of things. But so far all the claims supporting the current use of DST fall flat. Perhaps in Benjamin Franklin's time, when the idea was hatched, it really did save on candles. But in my life, I can see no benefit whatsoever.

Daylight savings time DOES beyond a doubt stress everyone who works on a clock-based schedule with an hour of sleep deprivation every spring, and grant us an extra hour of rest every fall. I remember feeling great last fall when we "fell back". It made more difference now that I am stretched thin by school than it ever has before in my life.

Springing forward causes us sleep deprivation because even though we might be smart and set our clocks forward early in the weekend, our bodies do not reset as easily as a clock. Even though my clock told me it was bedtime, and I went to bed, I did not go to sleep. Because I am accustomed to a certain pattern. And that's saying a lot because I am not a habitual person in general. But I do have a regular sleep cycle and changing it by an hour to the detriment of my rest hurt me all week long. It's Friday and I still feel it.

I read an article last night that spoke of the known fact that there are more heart attacks on Monday mornings. It seems to be involved with the stress of having to get up and face the week ahead. But this article went on to say that sleep deprivation causes elevations in C-reactive protein, which is an inflammatory marker that indicates heart attack risk, among other things. Apparently in THIS week, when we were slightly sleep deprived, the heart attack rate is increased not just on Monday, but also on Tuesday and Wednesday. And the Monday increase is greater than the rest of the year.

What do you think? Do you feel it?



Related to this, but on another subject, in my current training we have a class every Monday morning at 7:30 am. But not just a class, we have a quiz. Every Monday at 7:30am. Everyone says that second year is the hardest year. More people drop out this year. Even more common: people switch from the 4 year track to the 5 year (a $$$ bonus for the school as business) during the second year. So I wonder. What is the intention of giving us a quiz at 7:30am every Monday? It is just because the professors are available then? Or are they trying to give me a heart attack?? It feels kind of like it.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
b_vainamoinen
Mar. 14th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
I think that like so much else, it is an attitude thing.

I don't think that most humans are so delicate that their entire health is in jeopardy by simply missing an hour of sleep. Notice how many people lost and hour of sleep staying up to watch the Oscars -- or any number of other idiotic tv shows. You don't hear people complain that the Oscars ought to start earlier.

As for "resetting" their internal clock over the course of the summer -- in a world where the vast majority of light was "natural" the longer summer days already changed people's sleep patterns. Is it a stressor? Sure. But it's a stressor most people can adapt to without difficulty.

I just think that in today's world - we are a lot more adverse to any sort of "interuption." I think our "comfort zones" are a lot smaller than they once were.

I LOVE daylight savings time. I love having an hour more of sunlight every day after work. I choose to interpret it as analogous to getting off of work an hour early every day all summer long.
liveonearth
Mar. 14th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
So I hear you saying that you like the extra daylight after work in the summer. Which half of the year is the year that would stay the same if we didn't have DST? The winter?

When I lived in AZ, I really enjoyed having the extra hour of light before I went to work. Nobody else was up then, so I had that time to be truly alone in the forest, which was my medicine.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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