Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stop the Time Change Madness

Grams is sitting on the sofa with her feet propped up at 8:30 p.m. I subbed for an inclusion teacher today, which means I spent the entire day moving from classroom to classroom. I'm tired tonight and my feet hurt from walking all over the school. But my exhaustion is not from working today. Most of it is because this is the first week of "standard time."

I'm not a big fan of standard time, but I do love daylight saving time. I like it when the sun goes down later in the day. Now that we're back to standard time, it's pitch dark around 6 p.m. and I hate that.

My biggest complaint though is the "time change." Yes, I know it's only and hour, but it throws my entire "clock" into chaos. I can take either time, but my body does not respond well to the change. I wake up way too early for several weeks and I'm hungry at the wrong times. When my stomach thinks it's lunch time, I look at the clock and I still have an hour or more to wait. And, I'm sleepy by 8 o'clock in the evening. But if I give in and go to bed early, it just makes it all a vicious circle, because then I wake up way too early again and it all starts over again.

It also makes me crazy that many clocks never get changed and when they do get changed, it takes weeks or months to get them all synchronized. Does anybody really know what time it is?

In addition, it's not unusual for me to come down with a cold within one or two weeks of the twice-a-year time change. I think the disruption of my sleep pattern causes me to be run down and more susceptible.

If you are interested in the history of daylight saving time or if you would like to see the research data that shows how much energy is saved by DST along with some interesting statistics about lives saved and injuries avoided as a result of DST go to The California Energy Commission web site.

It is true that the concept came from Benjamin Franklin. Both Britain and the United States used DST during World War I and again during World War II.

When Grams was a child in the 1950s and early 1960s, Texas did not observe daylight saving time. My recollection is that it started when I was in junior high school, sometime around 1966 or 1967. Then in 1973 and 1974 Congress put most of the USA on year-round daylight saving time to save energy during the Arab oil embargo. After 1975, most of the US began observing DST from April until October. The start and end dates have been amended a couple of times over the years.

I say it's time to stop the madness! I've never run into one single person who embraces the time change. Many people like one time more than the other. Some prefer daylight saving time and some prefer standard time, but no one likes the process of changing it twice a year. Let's start a grassroots movement to get congress to repeal the law and choose one time or the other. Personally, I like daylight saving time, but I could learn to like standard time if they would just stop changing it.

So, there's my idea. Now, how do we get this done?

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