On Sunday, November 3rd, most of the country set their clocks back (or fell back) from Daylight-Saving Time (DST). And most of us do not particularly enjoy the results. Days seem way-too-short as we start to see the sunset as early as 4:30 PM. This means no more yard work after the day job and the eventual onset of cold, nasty weather. Yet there is a bright spot or two – we gain(ed) one hour of precious sleep – and we can also feel less guilty about watching Monday Night Football. It’s dark out, after all, and the yard work will just have to wait!
So, why do we continuously follow this pattern of changing clocks?
History of DST
The idea of daylight saving was the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin, who found it wasteful to burn oil and candles to combat darkness when people were sleeping through the early sunrise. However, the idea was not officially enacted in the US until the first World War, when DST lasted about one year and was later brought back for good during World War II. Then in 1973, for the second time in American history, Congress declared the year-round use of Daylight Saving Time to save energy during the oil embargo as a general concern for the nation’s economy. When days get shorter, the practice ends, and we see this rebound effect of ‘falling back’ to standard time.
Yet, even with the good intentions of the plan, particularly here in New England, the short days and early onset of evening lead to grumbles from most of us.
How to Cope?
The best thing we can do is to relish that one extra hour of sleep. But then, we have work to do. It is helpful to try to get ourselves to bed earlier – which is never comfortable with a busy schedule. Your internal clock may not easily align with the time, so experts suggest a strategy of gradually going to bed earlier each night. Try making your bedtime just 15 minutes the first night, a half-hour the second, and so forth until you have comfortably established an earlier sleep routine. Also be sure to keep away from the electronics – the light from devices trick us into thinking that we are bathed in daylight and must, therefore, stay awake. Instead, crack open a book as you try to get yourself to bed earlier and wake up refreshed at the crack of dawn so you can take advantage of early morning light.
Obviously, changing the number on a clock doesn’t really add time to our busy days, it merely changes our daylight opportunities. That point was eloquently made in this old joke from the Farmer’s Almanac about the reason for DST:
“Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”
With that, we bid you a good evening!
Once you’ve recovered from your extra hour of sleep, you may be itching to find a job on the first shift when the sun is still shining. If you are looking for a new position, give Masiello Employment Services a shout, and we’ll set you up with potential new opportunities that may better align with your lifestyle.