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Changing Times

Just as I was getting use to the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST), it is now ending, and once again, we will need to figure out how to change our alarm clocks back an hour. That is, unless you are lucky enough to live in Hawaii or Arizona. Although it is true that the end of DST means an extra hour of sleep, or in my case, waking up an hour earlier, it also means that the darkness of night comes earlier too. It will only get worse as we near the Dec. 21 winter solstice.

The time shifts really do mess with my internal clock, leaving me in a foggier condition than normal. So, don't blame me if my posts over the next several weeks seem a bit off-kilter.

When I was in grade school, I was always taught that the time change was originally done to help farmers plant and harvest their crops in the spring and fall, only to find out later that the story wasn't true. It was a Government conspiracy.

The truth is that, at least in the US, the Government has been playing with time since 1918, when Congress introduced what we now know as Daylight Saving Time; although at that time, it didn’t last very long. The decision was so widely disliked that Congress overruled President Wilson’s veto, and repealed the enacting legislation in 1919, only seven months after it had gone into effect. Americans didn’t have to worry about a biannual clock adjustment again until 1942.

DST was reinstated during WWII. Perhaps in an attempt to take advantage of the wartime enthusiasm, it was relabeled as “War Time”; although, I am not sure how my ancestors, who were incarcerated in Japanese-American concentration camps, felt about it back then. Following the war the seasonal time adjustment was used erratically as states and localities varied in its use. This was decidedly confusing and inconsistent, so in 1966 the Uniform Time Act was passed, standardizing the beginning and end of DST though it did allow for local exemptions. Since then, it's usage has been fairly consistent.

Well, given that I am powerless to stop the time from changing this year, I decided to look up ways to help me better adjust to the change. Here is what I found,

  • Prepare for the Sunday time change by waking up 15 minutes earlier every day for a week prior to the end of DST: Well, given that I procrastinated until now, if I start today, I might be good by some time next week. But if I move my alarm clock back an hour tonight, wouldn't this mean I will be off by two hours instead of one?

  • Keep a routine sleep-wake schedule to help reset your body's circadian rhythm: I don't know what circadas have to do with getting back into a normal rhythm, but maybe I can find one and try it.

  • Try sleeping with a mask: No, this is not a COVID thing. They are talking about sleep masks unless they too have become a political statement.

For those who love Daylight Saving Time, don't despair, DST begins again March 13 of 2022. But until then, just remember to reset your clocks back an hour before going to sleep tonight.

The information contained in this article is for noneducational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice.

(to be continued)

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