In my opinion, the best weekend of the year happens when the time changes and Daylight Saving time ends. I celebrate this weekend as I gain one delicious hour — for sleeping, relaxing, or goofing off — when the clocks turn back!
I’ve never been a fan of Daylight Savings Time. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in Saskatchewan, the only province in Canada that does not observe this ridiculous time change rule. Despite the strong farming economy in Saskatchewan, there was never a movement to have an extra hour of daylight in the morning. Somehow, everyone knew that crops as well as cows and pigs and sheep had internal clocks and didn’t need an artificial signal of when to begin or end the day! Why would gaining an hour of daylight in the spring evening compensate for early darkness every afternoon in the fall?
Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea of shifting clocks by one hour simply as a method of saving candlepower. His argument, based on the thrifty use of candles and oil for lamps, became popular in Paris, spread Germany, Britain, and then to North America. Some form of Daylight Savings time is observed in most countries of the world except those close to the equator where day and night are similar in duration.
Like me, many people intensely dislike Daylight Saving Time. People, generally, report feelings of sluggishness after the ‘spring forward, fall back’ time change every year.
Any parent of a young child or teenager knows, the difficulty of adjusting sleep and wake schedules, especially in the ‘spring forward’ madness when evenings are longer causes turmoil. Even pets need a few days to adjust to a change of time and routine in owner’s homes.
Researchers have found an increase in auto accidents when people lose sleep in the spring. Likewise, in the fall, pedestrian accidents increase as drivers are unable to see walkers in the early darkness and more people are out and about after dark.
People take time to adjust to a new sleep cycle. Decision making, problem-solving, and productivity decreases are observed in the workplace. Machinery-related accidents increase due to disrupted sleep cycles.
If there were a referendum on whether to keep Daylight Savings Time, I would vote no. Since that is not the case in Ontario, I’ll enjoy gaining an hour when the clocks ‘fall back’. With an hour of extra sleep, time for a relaxed breakfast, and extra time to spend at the gym, there is a leisurely pace to each day. Getting up in time for commitments next week won’t be as arduous. And, best of all it’s six months until the challenge of losing an hour will cause another postworksavvy rant!
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