Monday, March 12, 2018

Daylight Savings: The Monday Hangover

Nobody likes Daylight Savings. (Well, there is that one guy. But he's kind of weird.)

There are a lot of feasible reasons why people don't like Daylight Savings, from the fact that it makes no sense, to the confusion over which clocks you have to reset and which ones reset on their own. But, the biggest gripe most of us have is the fact that we lose an hour of sleep. You feel it when you wake up at what would have been 8:00 AM on Sunday morning, but because of Daylight Savings it is somehow legally 9:00 AM instead.

Big deal, right? It's only Sunday morning, so it doesn't really matter. The biggest consequence is that you might end up late for church. If you're like me and have four kids, this really makes no difference because you're always late for church anyway.

No, where the hammer of Daylight Savings hits is on Monday morning. The Monday after Daylight Savings in the spring is easily one of the worst days of the year. The entire national workforce is either late for work, grumpy, or both.

My wife teaches school. Her alarm goes off at 5:30 AM. On the Monday after Daylight Savings, that is the equivalent of 4:30 AM pre-Daylight Savings time. That is too darn early for words! Would you want to be a student and go to class and face a teacher who was woken up against her will at 4:30 in the morning? Of course not!

Even worse, though, is being a teacher, going to school, and facing a classroom full of students who were rousted from bed an hour earlier than normal! No fun for anyone.

It says "5:31," but what it really means is "4:31."

My two elementary school-aged kids usually get up at 6:45 AM. On the Monday after Daylight Savings, that's a 5:45 AM equivalency. They did not want to wake up. There was extra jostling, singing, and rousting involved in waking them up than would normally occur. And then, after dragging for the first half hour of being awake, they switched over to that over-tired hyperactive state where they were figuratively bouncing off of the walls. (Occasionally literally, too.)

The one benefit I had to look forward to was that my two preschool-aged children would sleep in later. While they would usually wake up at 8:30 AM, that would translate to 9:30 AM post-Daylight Savings. An hour extra without kids in the morning to get things done! Hooray! Except, that's not how it worked out. If you have toddlers you should know to expect the unexpected. So, instead of waking up an hour later, they ended up waking an hour earlier in "real" time, which is the same as two hours earlier in pre-Daylight Savings time. (They woke up at 7:30, which would have been 6:30 a couple of days earlier.) There is no winning with preschool-aged kids, unless you bribe them with candy or Elmo.

Is there a solution to this problem? We could make the Monday after Daylight Savings a national holiday, or we could mandate that no one be forced to go to work until noon on that day. Or, and here's a novel thought, we could just do away with Daylight Savings time altogether. (Wouldn't that be nice!)

No comments:

Post a Comment