|Ben Franklin was a brilliant man. We all know that. We were taught that fact in elementary school. He flew kites and experimented with electricity. He invented the US Post Office. He went to France and persuaded the French king to send a fleet to help the fledgling colonies beat the British. He wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac. And on... and on…and on…
Old Ben first proposed Daylight Saving Time. For me and everyone I know, it’s an idea that is right up there with the turkey as the national symbol of America. Franklin thought that having more time to enjoy the spring sunshine was a terrific idea. And so it seemed at the time.
In spring and summer, I find that 9:00 p.m. and sunshine doesn’t make me ready for bed. I spend the summer months feeling like a shift worker trying to sleep by day. I stay up late and groan when the sun, glorious sun, comes streaming in the windows way too early in the morning. By the time I figure out what time to go to bed to sleep, you guessed it-the time changes again.
In fall and winter, it’s dark at 4:00 o’clock and by 8:00, I’m ready to put on my nightcap (or drink one) and toddle off to dreamland. Driving at night becomes the norm from November until March rather than the exception. It’s night when we go to work and night when we get home. Working indoors without windows must be like living in the land of the midnight sun – without the sun.
I am convinced that many of our sleep dysfunctions are caused by changing the wretched clocks twice a year. The hour change means that sleep patterns must be reestablished and that is not good for the human body. We need sleep and we need regular sleep to function.
When 6:00 am becomes 7:00 am, then a few months later is 6:00 a.m. again, that’s just not healthy. Instead of taking a sleep aid, we need to get a schedule established and stick to it. Any infant’s parent will be the first to say that changing sleep times makes for a cranky baby. It also makes for cranky adults.
According to History & info on dst “Indeed, there is evidence that the severity of auto accidents increases and work productivity decreases as people adjust to the time change.”
With all due respect to Benjamin Franklin, a father of our country and a really smart guy, Daylight Saving Time is a turkey of an idea. It needs to go the way of the dodo and the passenger pigeon.
Our legislative leaders would do us all a great service by leaving Father Time alone. Then we can all get some sleep.