5:00 AM: Ramblings of a Non-Morning Person

I hate Daylight Saving Time.  I mean, I REALLY hate Daylight Saving Time.  Here I sit, up before the birds for the second consecutive morning, and all because we have to change the clocks twice a year.

Okay, my initial statement was not quite accurate.  I don’t hate DST; it is very nice to have daylight well into the evening in summer.  What I do hate is having to change the clocks by an hour twice a year.

I am not a morning person.  I have never been a morning person.  And for the last fourteen years I have had Bipolar Disorder.  People with mood disorders are particularly prone to sleep disturbances.  Which means that every time we change the clocks, no matter whether forward or back, I always spend the next month or so waking up too early, waking in the middle of the night (a thing I normally never do), or having difficulty getting to sleep in the first place despite a considerable amount of medication that I take at bedtime.

Concerning the benefits and drawbacks of DST, Wikipedia has this to say:

“The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farming, evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun.”

Translation:  Putting the clocks forward in the spring is primarily about profit.  And it also explains why the produce at the supermarket is so lousy.

Now I know that Wikipedia isn’t the be-all and end-all of reference sources, on or off the Internet, but when I read the whole article, it became clear to me that the primary reason we continue to change the clocks twice a year is habit.  It serves no useful purpose; in fact, it negatively impacts farmers, who already have more than their share of problems, all so a few sun worshipers can spend an extra hour on the beach (getting loaded, as likely as not).

If I had my choice, I would say keep DST year-round; it would be nice to have that extra hour of light at the end of the day in the winter when we really need it.  But after my little bit of research, it seems to me that a return to year-round Standard Time makes much more sense.  People who intend to spend money will do so whether it is light or dark outside, and some of us could use the sleep.

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