So, how’s daylight savings time working out for you? Not so much, right?
If you’re a non-morning person like a majority of the readers, and myself, you have about another week before you fully adjust. Sleep experts say it takes about 10 days for most people to adjust to that one hour that puts everyone off kilter twice a year.
Perhaps Professor Frank Knight said it best for the 73 percent of Americans, who recently reported in a sleep-deprivation survey that they are just tired, anxious, cranky, stressed out, and ready for a nap. One of Knight’s quotes reads: Never waste any time you can spend sleeping.
That’s music to many, many people’s ears. For them, the early bird can take all the worms. However, the every-day grind that has held us all hostages since the day we were old enough to attend school and work also has robbed us of that precious sleep. For many, it begins with the daily commute to a job they wish were a lot closer to home. That commute forces so many to get up way before they wish to in order to be sitting at a desk—school or otherwise at a pre-determined time. Driving around in the dark at absurd hours of the morning certainly isn’t something most choose or enjoy doing.
So here’s the real question you can ask yourself this week as the second phase of springing forward has you feel less than energetic. If you could get up each day at your own pace and not at a specific time, not tied to getting yourself, spouses, kids, dogs ready for the day, what time would you more naturally roll out of bed ready to tackle the world? For a vast majority, that ranges from 8-10 a.m. Not 4:30 a.m. Not 6 a.m. and not even 7:45 a.m. The 8-10 a.m. range seems to be a natural waking time for those I queried last week, with 9 a.m. being the favored target.
Now, in all fairness, we all know and perhaps love someone who is an early riser. Pin a rose on them. Just do it quietly and don’t roam back and forth down the hall, stand around in the kitchen clinking spoons within earshot or start the washing machine.
As Ben Stein reported on CBS Sunday Morning this past Sunday, people have been forced to rise to attend work and school at ludicrous hours of the day for centuries. That doesn’t mean it’s optimal for most, because for most, it just ISN’T.
Grades suffer, work suffers, and family interaction suffers. I was a real pleasure to be around when
I was in school. I hated getting up and fought tooth and nail to not have to. I can still be dressed, ready and in the car in 20 minutes if I have to.
So what we have are kids and adults sitting belligerently at their desks at 7:02 and 8:30 a.m. have been robbed of about three extra hours of sleep each day. No wonder we are cranky. Teens in particular have been proven to function at their best when allowed to rest for about 10 hours a day. For them, the majority are lucky if they get six or seven a night, because they’re up anywhere from 5-6 a.m. until 11 or 11:30 p.m. with school, sports, extracurricular activities and homework all part of their daily routine.
The majority of people claim they can get by with six-eight hours of sleep. The key there is “get by”. When daylight savings time robbed everyone of yet another hour of sleep, well, we all know how that is turning out. Take a look around your house and office this past week. Sour-faced, grumpy people, right? Come on, now, tell the truth!
The one good thing about daylight savings time is the extra daylight that comes at the end of the day. But, that also keeps people outside enjoying the outdoors much longer than during the fall and winter, delaying dinner, homework and prep time for the following day. That’s an entirely different kind of tired, though, as being outdoors give you that “good” tired that people still need time to recover from, a time we are never afforded come Sunday evening.
I’m with Ben Stein. Just imagine how much more productive everyone would be if we didn’t have to chase the same clock and time schedule every day. We’d all be healthier, happier, and more productive. What a concept!