Springing Ahead

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Spring!  Photo by Karen Novak

 

Spare me your whining.

I’m talking, of course, about the lamented “lost hour” of daylight saving time.

Of course, those of us in DST observing locations didn’t really lose an hour last night. We’ll get it back on November 5th, on that lovely day when everyone sleeps in for an hour and still wakes up on time.

If my anecdotal observations are any guide, most people deplore springing ahead and love falling behind.

I’m here to tell you that you’ve got it all wrong.

Daylight saving time is my favorite day of the year. I celebrate it like a holiday.  Forget March 20, today is the first day of spring.

For those with long commutes, tomorrow they’ll finally have some daylight left when they arrive home from work. I can abandon my treadmill for the next few months and take my after-work workout outside.

More than the cold, it’s the short dreary days that drag me down in winter. I love the long days of summer, when the sun wakes up early and stays up late.  It’s hard not to be productive and happy when there’s light streaming in through the windows all day.  I’m in heaven during those long days in June and July where the sun doesn’t set for hours after dinner.

It all begins today.

All we give up is an hour of sleep.

One measly hour! You’d think people regimented their bed and wakeup times like the U.S. Marines.  Everyone has lost more than an hour of sleep staying up late watching television or a night out on the town.  We make up those hours (or not) with nary a thought.

But turn those clocks ahead and you’ve got a sleep deficit crisis.

Part of it, of course, is that it isn’t just an hour less sleep. We have the shock of waking up to darkness when we expect sunlight.  (Or at least having the sun rise an hour later than we expect).  There’s no doubt this does a number on the body clock for a day or two.

I did a little research (ie Googled) the origins of daylight saving time. It turns out that Benjamin Franklin, who told us all about death and taxes in last week’s blog, came up with the idea to use less candles.  It came into being in the United States during World War II as a way to conserve lamp fuel.

So in addition to sunlight to play in after work and the unofficial kickoff to spring, DST is also doing a solid for Mother Earth.

All this for an hour.

Seems like a fair trade to me.

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