Can We Please Leave the Clocks Alone?

I'm tired

The extra daylight is nice, yes. It was so lovely to have sunshine after we ate dinner on Sunday evening – the dogs even got an extra walk – and leaving work on Monday while the sun was still high in the sky was a welcome change. 

But it was much less lovely when my kids were up way too late on Sunday night and I had to physically lift Georgia (my night owl who would happily sleep until noon) out of bed on Monday morning. I dragged all day yesterday, despite an extra cup of coffee, which just left me jittery but no more awake, and I know from long experience that it will be awhile until I fully adjust. 

Meanwhile, every autumn, I am happy to get my hour of sleep back – it’s so pleasant to wake up before my alarm – but the darkness settling in at 5 p.m. leaves me anxious and depressed. 

Why are we still doing this???

A CBS News poll in March of last year found that:

  • 33% preferred standard time year-round
  • 46% of U.S. residents preferred daylight saving time year-round
  • 21% were OK continuing to switch twice a year

I definitely am in the 46% that would rather have the extra daylight at the end of the day, but if there were a fourth option, which is “I don’t care that much, but please just pick a time and stick to it,” that would get my vote. 

The days get longer and shorter anyway, so I’m not sure why we need to artificially manipulate the clocks. 

“We’re not farmers!” I used to fume every year, cranky about either lack of sleep or early sunset, depending on the time of year. “I don’t understand why we’re still doing this when we aren’t living in an agrarian society!” 

… And then I did enough research to learn that this is actually a long-held myth and that farmers actually hate the time change more than normal people because animals don’t follow clocks. (Just ask my dogs, who get antsy for their food and walk at the same time every day and don’t understand that everything is off by an hour.) 

There have been various legal measures over the years – I used to joke that extending daylight saving time was the only thing I liked from George W. Bush’s presidency – and we got close to permanent daylight saving time last year but the resolution didn’t pass the House. 

I’ve got my fingers crossed that this might be the last time we have to mess with the clocks, but I’m not necessarily overly optimistic. For now, though, I will just enjoy the extra sunshine after work – and keep my coffee close at hand. 

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