The Extra Hour

It’s a wonderful feeling: Knowing that because of what some politicians decided in a room many years ago, after getting an hour hacked from our lives back in March, we get that hour BACK for whatever we want.  But is that really a good thing?

How long did it take you to get used to that “hour ahead” back in March?  For me, Monday seemed alright, just a little sped up, but by Tuesday and Wednesday, my body started doing the “Wait, this is really what’s going on now?” and had started rebelling again wakefulness.  It really was nicer to get that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day though; leaving work and having the chance to catch a little more sunshine is never a bad thing.

As we got to the end of Daylight Saving Time, there was a sense of excitement among the people I spoke with.  “We get an extra hour to SLEEP!”  “We get an extra hour to PARTY!”  “It’ll be brighter at the beginning of the day!”  And sure enough, with that extra hour come and gone, it is indeed brighter at 7:20 in the morning compared to yesterday, and it feels good to have cheated the system by sleeping in a bit but still getting up around the regular time.  Of course, that’s if you woke up that way today.

Maybe you woke up like I did.  An hour earlier than you usually would have.  Since I can’t get my weekend internal clock to work separately from my weekday clock, and I usually wake up for 4:40am, that means I was up today at 3:40am.  Oh, wait a minute, my body has a fantastic habit of waking up at 4am to remind myself I have to be up in 40 minutes.  So when I rolled over this morning, this is the wonderful sight that stared through my soul:

My first thought was “Well, at least it’s Sunday, I can just lay here and fall asleep when I fall asleep and everything will be right with the world.”  My second thought was “Now, back to that dream where I’m convincing Trudy and Don Draper why my “Velcro catch game” is better than that replica kid’s baseball glove.” (Apparently I convinced him, he gave me his celebratory chocolates.  Never have bread/oil dip and pepperettes as a snack before bed, unless you like dreaming about Mad Men, in which case go ahead.)  My THIRD thought:

“Oh god, this is going to happen TOMORROW morning, isn’t it?”

I will spend the rest of today trying to convince my body that this is the correct time, and we will go to sleep when it’s “time” to go to sleep.  If that means I’ll be a little more sleepy at the end of the day and I force myself to stay awake so my buzzer gets me up in the morning, so be it.  But now there’s a SECOND reason I may not be able to fight the sleep at the end of the day: It will be dark an hour earlier now.

Let me get this straight: I woke up an hour earlier than I usually would, which will make me feel more tired at the end of the day, and while I struggle to reprogram my body, the dark blanket of night will cover my eyes an hour earlier, making me fall asleep at about 5:48pm?


Here’s my suggestion:  I know it’s hard to get up in the morning when it’s dark, BUT, let’s move the clocks FORWARD again.  Let’s move them forward about four hours.  Hear me out:  We’ll get a week to adjust to the new timing, and then we’re back to work.  It’ll get light out around 11am or so, so we’ll have to get up and into work and school in the dark.  I understand this will cause some issues, but the payoff should be worth it:  IT WILL BE LIGHT OUT UNTIL 8:30 AT NIGHT!  In the middle of winter, we’ll get out of work, drive home in the light, and maybe even get a little outside time in, instead of commuting to and from work like we live in a cave.  We HAVE to get up in the morning anyways, so why not?  Think about having your lunch break while the sun comes up!  Amazing!

Alright, maybe not the best plan.  Plan B: Relocate everyone to the equator.  I’ll bring the sunscreen.



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