Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Will Daylight Savings Changes Ever End?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is a call to be free from requirements to change our clocks twice each year. It is that time again when we set our clocks for an hour earlier – meaning that we lose an hour. There are rumors that these changes may end, so this may be the last time that we are forced to change our clocks or run an hour late for the next six months.

Switching between times is not good for our bodies as we must adapt to a new schedule. This upsets our circadian rhythm or internal clock, and the change takes time. Rebecca Olds wrote about changing our clocks and made the following statement: 

It’s not the time shift itself that affects the circadian rhythm, but the light during the day that helps our bodies know when to calm down and sleep or wake up. Our bodies don’t care whether the clock says 5 p.m. or 5 a.m., as long as the appropriate amount of light can be found….

So it makes sense that when daylight saving time makes us wake up in the dark, it disrupts our natural sleep cycle. But, “when we receive more light in the morning and darkness in the evening, our bodies and nature are better aligned, making it easier to wake up for our daily activities and easier to fall asleep at night,” the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said.

It is one thing to make a one-time change of time. It is quite another thing to keep switching back and forth between regular time and daylight savings time. Someone should make up their mind! We should make a permanent decision to help our bodies the most. However, we do not yet know if standard time or daylight savings time would be the best permanent time schedule. The biggest question is, how much longer will the debate continue? We should decide and be done with it!

According to Asia Bown, it is possible to prepare our bodies to make the time change with less fatigue. However, time is limited in that we change our clocks tomorrow night. Nevertheless, we can do something to make the change easier. Bown’s suggestions include the following: 

Go to bed earlier in the preceding days…. Move your bedtime an hour earlier to compensate for the hour less sleep.

Create an enjoyable bedtime routine.

Plan around light. According to NPR, light is one of our body’s main signals to either wake up or go to sleep. At night this manifests as bright lights in your home… limit blue light from your screens … dim your other lights…. In the mornings, … opening your curtains or blinds as soon as you wake up. Doing this in the days leading up to the change … may help you ease into the transition more smoothly.

I have another suggestion gained from personal experience. It is more difficult to adjust to daylight savings time changes when you are also dealing with jet lag. I try to travel at least a week or two after the time change.

Another suggestion that I heard from another person is to stay on the same bedtime schedule. If you put your children to bed at 8:00 during the winter standard time, then you could keep them up until 9:00 during the summer daylight savings time. This is one way to keep their circadian rhythm even. I expect to see some sleepy people at Church on Sunday!

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