Sunday, March 08, 2009

Time change will mess with body's rhythm

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

The United States adopted daylight saving time during World War I and II to save energy — electric lights, not candles — and permanently in 1966. Today, there are competing studies on whether energy actually has been saved.

Scientists, however, are beginning to understand that jumping forward even a single hour plays havoc with our circadian rhythms, the biological clocks within our brains and cells.

More here.

And, apparently, there is an increasing number of scientists who believe that this circadian havoc might have some long term negative health consequences. As if the short term consequences weren't bad enough. Even though I don't have to be at work until three on Sunday, I have absolutely no doubt that I'll be sluggish and weird all day long. Just as I was when we "fell back" some months ago--I mean, it's always nice to get that extra hour of sleep in the fall, but it seems to have the same effect with me when I lose an hour in the spring. Really, it usually takes two or three days before I'm feeling myself again.

But no matter. I like the time change. I mean, over the long term. I like it getting dark early in the winter, and I like super long days in the summer. Maybe it's just what I'm used to, but I dig it. I also like "springing forward" and "falling back" as yearly rituals, signifying the change from wet season to dry season. It's always a bit exciting to me.

Likewise, I don't understand the people who bitch about it. I mean, okay, some bitching about losing sleep is just fine and all, but I've been hearing people these last few years really bitching about DST, insisting that we do away with it because...well...they're usually reasons amounting to not much more than "it sucks." Sleep scientists may very well have some hard and fast arguments soon against changing our clocks twice yearly, but until then all the anti-DST people have is "it sucks." Not much of an argument if you ask me.

Anyway, be sure to set your clocks forward one hour if you haven't already.

Yea! It's spring!