‘… And The Times They Are A Changing’

time change0001As you can see from the last post that sleep is something that I struggle with. I get to sleep but I just don’t stay there and my internal clock is forever telling it’s time to get up. Today and for the next week my internal clock and I will be at odds because today is the start of Daylight Savings Time or as I call it Daylight Stealing Time.

time change0002

 

For the next week I will struggle with fatigue. It’s not that I’m getting any less sleep I just feel like I am. I will drag my sorry ass out of bed every morning and moan until noon. At least for me I am not heading to work today or Monday thank goodness and can try to adjust to the time change in the comfort of my own home, not everyone has that luxury.

 

The world has become a 24/7 environment. There is no longer a set ‘day of rest’ when the stores are closed and there is a uniform day off for us all. No, it has become a go, go, go kind of world. This means that many people are having to get up and head to work, and they all have to do it an hour earlier. One of those people is my wife Honey and I can tell you she is none too happy about it.

time change0003

 

“Why do they bother doing this?” she raged yesterday. “Don’t those idiots know that the farmers will get up with the sun regardless of what the clock says!!? Changing the clocks isn’t helping anyone! Why don’t they just leave it alone!! What is the #@*point!!!? They’re #@!*# idiots!!!” I should mention that Honey is a touch menopausal, so I’m not exaggerating the rage she is demonstrating over this year’s annual time change.

 

Daylight Savings Time was the brain-child of Ben Franklin who figured by moving daylight ahead people would save on candle consumption (I’m not being witty here, I mean actual candles!) All of Ben’s business buddies got on board with this idea because more sunlight hours meant more productivity. They figured that the daylight hours between 4 and 6 a.m. were being wasted, commerce was suffering, so they devised a way to get the people out of bed earlier. That’s right… Big Business invented Daylight Savings Time!!!

time change0004

 

Now you might have thought that this annual event would have gone the way of the dinosaur when Ben’s next big idea involved kite flying or when Edison came up with the light bulb but it did not. This time change has become an institution, one that you may have noticed doesn’t bring out the best in people.

 

According to studies the effect on business in general, show that there is very little if any benefit to this time change. In fact, the studies show that the impact for the first week of the change have quite the negative impact to Big Business. When I say Big Business I am also including the biggest business of them all… government.

 

A 2013 study showed that the U.S. economy took more than a 400 million dollar hit the first week of the time change. Relatively speaking, that’s 96 billion dollars over the last 240 years Big Business has lost. Another study said that the time change, that was meant to save us candle usage in the late evening, has been negated by the need to use more light in the early hours!! The idea that Daylight Savings Time saves on money and resources is a falsity!!!

time change0005

 

The effect of this time change on the general public is also devastating. In a New York Times article, researchers reported that the Monday following the time change we spend 20% of our time in a daze rather than focused on the task at hand. This causes a 6% increase in the number of workplace injuries, which result in a 67% increase in manpower days lost. That’s just the result for Monday!! These people had a day to get acclimatized!! What about the Sunday workers like Honey???

 

It gets worse; provinces across Canada have produced studies that show that vehicle collisions increase by more than 20% the first week of DST and in Colorado, vehicular fatalities rise by 17%. Your health is also impacted, a 2012 University of Alabama study showed that the risk of having a heart attack goes up by 10%, no doubt they were stressing out over being late because they have no idea what time it was!!! We’re all bleary-eyed and disoriented the first few days of the change and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it.

time change0006

 

There is a medical reason for this. Our bodies produce melatonin, a key ingredient in inducing sleep. These levels are impacted by sunlight or the lack there of. More sunlight, less melatonin, less sunlight, more sleep inducing melatonin, therefore we are more alert in the sunlight. So why is Big Business turning the sun off in the morning??? It’s not helping anyone, including them!

 

My last piece of information comes courtesy of Daniel Martins and his article posted on the Weather Network (he credits a bunch of other sources, so I think everyone’s covered), he says that researchers claim that not only do we become lousier workers but our bosses become lousier bosses. Even though this is not measurable, the researchers noted that bosses became “less ethical, less morally aware, more prejudiced and more apt to engage in abusive supervision.”

time change0007

 

Okay let me see if I have this straight… I have to get out of bed an hour earlier when my body is telling me I should be sleeping because its dark outside and then I’m going to get behind the wheel of a two ton killing machine feeling groggy and get on the road with other killing machines of which the operators are only paying attention eighty percent of the time, if I survive and get to work there’s a 2/3 chance I’m going hurt myself bad enough to not make it to work tomorrow and my boss is going to be an asshole.

 

Is this time changing thing really such a good idea anymore? It seems to me that the days of the candle are long gone.