Today I was a substitute in a first grade class. The main question of the day was, “When is lunch?” You see, just last week their little bellies were getting satisfied at 11:00 am, but since we have this inane national clock change day, today their stomachs had to wait one whole hour longer. For a hungry first grader, that’s a long time.
But we got to sleep in an extra hour, you might say. Buzz! Wrong answer, unless you’re a teenager who can sleep until noon on the best of days. My body was ready to wake up at 6:00 old time – read 5:00 standard time. Thank you, circadian rhythm. Thank you, coffee addiction. I’ll probably still stay up until 11:00, then wake up at the crack of dawn yet again. It will take me a couple of cranky weeks to adjust, but at least it’s not as bad as the spring change. Then it’s time to pay the piper for that nice supposed extra hour of sleep with a jarring one hour deficit. (I’m not a morning person.)
Don’t get me wrong. I see the reasoning behind the change. I live in the Northern Hemisphere, and the extra hours of daylight in the summer evenings are wonderful. I love being outside at 10:00 pm watching the sun set over the mountains or having a late night barbecue on the back deck. I understand that more people are out participating in activities after school or work, spending money in their local economy. Daylight savings time gives me time to get in an afternoon run after work without going to the gym.
So why ruin a good thing? Winters are bleak at best, and seem endlessly gloomy with the drastic change in afternoon light. It’s much harder to get out and exercise when it gets dark early. Wouldn’t life be better if we just kept DST all year long? I know the first-graders would appreciate it.