Save more than daylight

first_imgWell, fellow sleepyheads, I’ve come up with the perfect solution. No more will we have to struggle with our grating alarm clocks and our ungrateful biological clocks every spring. It’s so simple, I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before. Don’t you feel great in the fall when you get that extra hour of shut-eye in the mornings after we shift to standard time? You can sleep in. You can luxuriate in the soothing embrace of a warm tub – or a warm hug. Or, in our busy household, you can actually get the kids dressed, lunches packed and everyone off to school and work on time for a change. So, all we need to do every spring is follow the same example. If we need to make the clocks read one hour later for daylight-saving time, why not do it the painless way, as we do in the fall: by setting our clocks back – for 23 hours! In other words, “Fall back, spring way back!” Imagine the benefits! At 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, we’d set the clock back 23 hours to 3 a.m. Saturday, March 10. We’d get to sleep in not only Sunday the 11th, but also Saturday, March 10 – twice. Best of all, our bodies would have an extra day to adjust before having to get up “early” for the office. And for those poor souls who have to work on Saturday or Sunday, the extra weekend day would mean an extra day of time-and-a-half overtime – surely a help for that tight home budget, hmmm? HARD to get up this morning, isn’t it? Who set the alarm for 5:30, anyway? Because it is 5:30, no matter what they tell us. And we really deserve another hour of sleep! We go through this every year. “Spring forward, fall back.” Only it feels like the opposite – I spring out of bed in the fall when I get a wonderful extra hour of morning snoozing, and a fall back into bed in the spring when the alarm clock shatters my dreams at “oh-dark-thirty.” Studies have shown that there are more accidents the first Monday after the time change. Not surprising, considering that our biological clocks are really set for a 25-hour day. We sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays, and by Monday morning our bodies are clamoring for a 10 a.m. wake-up call, not ouch – 6:30. Now we’re adding insult to injury by asking ourselves to get out of bed even earlier than normal just because the calendar demands a return to daylight-saving time. And this year, thanks to a change in federal law, the dreaded event comes a full three weeks earlier than in years past. But, wait a minute, you ask. If we go back 23 hours, wouldn’t that put us behind the rest of the world? Ah, good point, I stammer, let me think a minute. Of course! We’d have to catch up, and the best way to do that is to skip Monday, March 12, altogether. By Tuesday, we’d be back with the rest of the world and nobody would miss having a Blue Monday, right? OK, OK. It is getting a bit complicated. Maybe the best answer is simply to come out and yawn, “We need a day off after the clocks change!” The first Monday after we go to daylight-saving time should be designated Daylight Saving Day and declared a national holiday, with everything closed except shopping malls. The result: a stronger economy, happier workers, fewer accidents, fewer conflicts, world peace. Congress, it’s your call. So, drag yourself out of bed and start making those phone calls to your representatives in Washington. (Just remember that peak phone rates start an hour earlier this morning.) If we all work together, this may be the last year we’ll have to suffer with daylight-saving whine. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos, M.D., is director of the Klotz Student Health Center at California State University, Northridge.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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