Tonight… Well, tomorrow morning at 2 AM, we set our clocks back and get an extra hour of sleep. Or in our case, we get an extra hour to party with my sister-in-law, whose birthday is today. To quote Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”
That’s right. On the far side of this extra hour of sleep comes the tyranny of Standard Time, or as I call it, The Dark Time. Sunset is arbitrarily moved up an hour so that, by the time I get home from work, the sun is already sitting on the horizon. Come December, during the week, I will not have a single hour outside of work lit by the sun. I will have been robbed of daylight.
A friend of mine used to complain that it’s worse for her and her family. They live in Vancouver where the weather is warm in winter, but the sun goes down before 4:30.
The older I get, the more susceptible I seem to be to the shortened days. I had a really rough bout of depression last Christmas, one that almost sent me to the doctor to ask if the Happy Pill Du Jour was right for me. Thankfully, I snapped out of it. Most antidepressants cause weight gain, which I can do without. It just makes the underlying problem worse.
Many people complain about Daylight Savings Time because it starts with losing that hour of sleep. True, but you have more daylight at the end of the day. I prefer to think of it as Standard Time snatching that hour away on its way out the door. I do understand the need to move the clock back an hour in December and January. If we didn’t, sunrise would be as late as a few minutes after 9 AM in many places. This may not bother you if you live in Sweden or Moscow, where the winter days are so short this would not make much of a difference. And in parts of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia, they get no daylight for weeks or even months. But here where daylight rules for as little as eight hours and can go as long as fourteen hours, the loss of the sun during the evening commute is jarring and stressful.
I have a modest proposal. Instead of switching the clocks back and forth twice a year, let’s just stay on Daylight Savings Time all year. Then, twice a year, on a Monday no less, federal law will require all employers to allow people to sleep in one hour. Not only do we keep the sun at the end of the year, but we get an extra hour of sleep on top of that one we get tomorrow. And on a Monday.
What’s not to love about that?