The end of daylight savings time comes on November 2, and you know how the old saying goes: "One extra hour of sleep, one extra hour of seasonal affective disorder!" At least that is the phrase that I myself coined and repeat to anyone who gets excited about snoozing for a measly extra 60 minutes this upcoming Sunday without taking into account the lasting effects of the event: that for each lost minute of evening sunlight we also lose a corresponding unit of human happiness. Honestly, these are probably the same shortsighted people who can't wait until the pizza cools or file for all sorts of tax exemptions now and then end up owing the government money in April. A small convenience today results in a world of pain later...and if you are one of those early risers who love that new extra hour of sun between 6 and 7 a.m., well...I wake up at 8:30 so we probably just don't relate to each other all that well to begin with.
I feel very strongly about daylight savings time (which would explain the existence of my side hustle, howlongtildaylightsavingsstarts.tumblr.com, which gets, like, five hits a day and will start attracting advertisers any minute now). The onset of DST is like a Christmas morning where all the gifts are prettily wrapped packages of serotonin, and its end is hopelessly bleak, foretelling several sad months when the sun goes down a full 90 minutes before I am even allowed to consider leaving the office. And those early sunsets aren't even the whole problem. Here are the five worst things about daylight savings time.
1. FEAR OF TECHNOLOGY FAILURE
Are you AT ALL confident that the clock on your phone (we are all solely relying on our cell phones for time telling now, right?) is going to reboot at the appropriate hour and reflect the change in time? Or is everyone else also planning to Google "What time is it in New York City?" on Sunday morning to make sure all has gone according to plan? Because newsflash, your device automatically updating is not a foregone conclusion, as I learned when I was in Russia on vacation last week (I know, what?) and their time change nearly made me miss my flight home. Guys, YOU COULD GET STUCK IN RUSSIA because of daylight savings time.
2. OUT-OF-WHACK BODY CLOCK
Who knew that an hour time change could wreak such havoc on your body? I fall asleep before The Daily Show starts, I wake up with enough time to brush my hair and put on moisturizer, I feel in desperate need of a nap at 10 a.m. It's all very confusing for my internal rhythms and I usually spend a week or so balancing things out with a combo of caffeine and klonopin that no doctor would recommend. In fact, that hour time change can result in "problems with sleep, mood, digestive function, and mental alertness" that can take weeks to subside.
3. 4:30 P.M. SUNSETS
Did I mention the lacking of evening sunlight and how that may affect people who are already losing on the serotonin front or people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? The end of daylight savings time often triggers the onset of SAD. Yes, I understand that it is the Earth's axis in relation to the sun and all that that shortens daylight hours in the winter, but the moving back of the clocks certainly gives the illusion that the days just got way shorter, even if the actual minutes of daylight were just redistributed between night and morning. Having the sun set way before you leave work for the day is way depressing, and it hurts extra for those of us who suffer from the SADs.
4. Social Life Suffering
I don't know about you, but my level of enthusiasm with regards to social activity (and really any activity) is directly correlated to what it looks like outside when happy hour rolls around. My coworkers, who I coaxed into far too many 6 p.m. rooftop drinking sessions this summer, can attest to this. So as the sun drops, so does my motivation to be anywhere other than on my couch, in a pair of elastic pants, next to a pile of Trader Joe's microwavable fettuccine. This results in several months of social isolation...not to mention an inability to get myself to the gym despite the fact that winter is when I need those exercise-induced feel-good brain chemicals the most.
5. NEGLIGIBLE BENEFITS
In 1784, Benjamin Franklin first proposed using the daylight savings time system to make better use of daylight and conserve resources. While this makes sense in theory, studies say that there actually may be negligible benefits as far as energy conservation goes, so why are we even putting ourselves through this back and forth anyway? And no, you cannot remind me that I said this come March when I am unreasonably excited about the clocks springing forward. This is an autumn-specific argument.
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