Adjusting to the Time Change

It’s been more than two weeks since the change to daylight saving time, and I’m still not used to it. Although I am going to bed at the same real time (assuming time is real), the clock tells me I’m going to bed an hour later. Even worse, I’m too groggy in the morning to figure out what time I’m supposed to get up. Is it an hour later than I had been waking? An hour earlier? During the day, I can figure out the time change if I need to, but mostly I don’t since I go by what the clock says. But in the morning? I have no idea what time I’m getting up, so sometimes, like yesterday, it feels as if there are too few hours in a day, and other times, like today, it feels as if there are too many.

Admittedly, some of that off-kilter feeling has to do with how busy I am. Yesterday, I was on the go almost all day, getting caught up on household chores and such, so today there wasn’t much left to do. I also managed to sleep a couple of extra hours yesterday morning, but barely managed to stay in bed until first light today, so not only am I left with the perception of extra hours today because of more free time, but there is also the reality of extra hours because of the early rising.

From what I understand, both this state and this country are trying to pass laws to make daylight saving time permanent, so there is double the chance of it happening, which makes me wonder how it will affect us.

Dr. Muhammad Adeel Rishi, pulmonologist and sleep physician at Indiana University thinks we should go back to permanent standard time, since our circadian rhythm is connected to the sun, and that rhythm is more in sync with permanent standard time.

Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine agrees with that assessment, but also says that of the three choices — permanent daylight saving time, permanent standard time, or switching between the two —permanent DST is the worst solution.

I would prefer if they got rid of daylight saving time altogether, but despite what Dr. Zee says, permanent daylight saving time might be better than having to readjust twice a year. That adjustment period certainly is difficult, and has been linked to sleep disturbances, mood and mental alterations, traffic accidents, and heart attacks.

Whatever they decide, I’ll have to deal with it, though come to think of it, permanent daylight saving time might not be so bad because in winter, here on the eastern edge of the time zone, the sun would set at 5:30 pm instead of 4:30, as it does now. 4:30 pm is dang early for it to get dark!

[Incidentally, I wrote daylight saving time instead of daylight savings time because although the second usage is more common — and how I used the term because I didn’t know any better — the first is correct. Supposedly, “saving” is singular because it acts as part of an adjective rather than a verb, though if it is part of an adjective, daylight and saving should be hyphenated. No matter how you say it or write it, though, the clock manipulation is still annoying.]

But the legislation is in the future. For now, I have to adjust as well as I can to these off-kilter days that are sometimes too long and sometimes too short.

***

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