Monday, March 10, 2014

Did you lose an hour of sleep?

Saturday night was the night when most people in North American turned their clocks forward one hour for "Daylight Saving Time."1 TV, radios, and newspapers are whining about the fact that everyone was going to lose an hour's sleep. Some of the comments on my radio station advise people to avoid driving today (Monday) because you might be suffering from sleep deprivation.

This all seems very strange to me. Is it true that most people are so unfamiliar with traveling across time zones that turning your clock back one hour is a really big deal?

And what's this about losing one hour's sleep? When I got out of bed on Sunday morning it was about one hour later (on the clock) than the time I usually wake up on Sunday morning. I didn't lose an hour's sleep. The only people who lost an hour's sleep on Saturday night are those who wake up every Sunday morning to an alarm clock. Are you one of those people?

It's a little bit different on Monday morning when, I imagine, most people have to wake up to an alarm clock in order to get to work. I'm not one of those people. However, even on Sunday night the only way you lose an hour's sleep is if you went to bed an hour later than normal.

Somewhere along the way I have lost an hour of my day but it's not going to come out of sleep time. That would be silly. If I ever feel sleep deprived I'll just go to bed earlier.

How about the rest of you? Do you really give up an hour of sleep in the days following the shift to Daylight Savings Time?


More accurately known as "Daylight Shifting Time."

20 comments :

  1. I lost sleep because I had to stay up until 2am to set the clock forward.

    (I didn't really do that, but the image on you post suggests it).

    No, I did not lose any sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The only people who lost an hour's sleep on Saturday night are those who wake up every Sunday morning to an alarm clock. Are you one of those people?

    Not me personally, but realize that working class people quite often don't have "weekends" as we know them. Yes, you and I might do some work on the weekends by choice, but all those people working at the stores and restaurants we go to on the weekend? They are there because that's their shift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you for letting us know about all those people who had to get up early on Sunday morning to rush off to a job before the rest of us were awake. I was completely unaware that such people existed and especially that they made up such a substantial proportion of the population. That explains why everyone is so concerned about losing an hour's sleep. I hope those people never have to travel to places with different time zones; it could kill them.

      Delete
    2. Ignoring the sarcasm, no, the North American working class generally doesn't vacation in Europe as you do and so things like jet lag are not really a common experience for them.

      Delete
    3. Yes, those poor people who would die traveling to different time zones!

      I'm so glad I can't afford to see my parents for the second year in a row because I can't afford to fly around like Larry does and can't take the time off like Larry can.

      But apparently it's great that I can't see my parents or vice versa, because otherwise I would be dead, or they would be dead. Hooray! Not being dead and not seeing your parents is way better than dying because you went to see your parents via plane flight!

      It's fine to whine about media over-sensationalizing time zones. But don't be a huge patronizing asshole at the same time.
      The amount of people who are chronically sleep-deprived and don't have the money to go on vacation to a different time zone IS a substantial amount.

      Delete
  3. Now, this really bugs me. We (UK) don't change until the end of March, because that keeps us in line with the rest of Europe. Why Europe don't change till then, I have no idea, since it's been light on waking since mid-Feb in most of it. It seems mad to waste morning daylight then switch lights on an hour earlier in the evening. I'd be more than happy to 'lose' the hour's sleep.

    A recent bill to better align the daylight hours (by adopting European Time instead of being perpetually an hour adrift) was killed by being talked out by anti-European right-wing MPs. Their objections:
    (1) It would put us on 'Berlin time' (I kid you not),
    (2) The world sets their clock by us, not the other way round
    (3) It's 'British' Summer Time, dammit, and
    (4) it was sponsored by an environmentalist group.

    So we're stuck - on the one hand, we have to align with Europe on the timing of the switch, on the other, we can't align with European Time (which would achieve the same end: lighter March evenings) because of some rabid over-my-dead-body Euro-blimps. 'Just get up an hour earlier', I hear you cry. Then wait for the schools and offices to open - great solution!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Actually, I lost quite a bit of sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning, because I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. Which sucked because I had to get up early Sunday to go somewhere. Still haven't quite repaid the deficit.

    Oh, time change? Did that Friday evening, just so we'd have Saturday to get used to it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I lost sleep, not Sunday morning but this morning. It takes some time to shift one's biological clock to adjust to earlier (biological) times of one's schedule.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Get up at 4 am every weekday morning for work. Have no idea from an accounting standpoint whether I lost an hour's sleep. All I know is when the alarm rang this morning it was too dang early!

    ReplyDelete
  7. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/be-careful-workplace-injuries-spike-following-the-switch-to-daylight-saving-time/284327/

    ReplyDelete
  8. On one hand, I could be all smug and talk about how as a resident of Saskatchewan I don't have to worry about it because this is one jurisdiction that doesn't do seasonal time-shifting. It's a farm thing, apparently - don't ask me why farmers hate daylight savings time, it's enough that they do and they vote and they account for a large fraction of the population of this province.
    On the other hand, I never minded the shifts, either direction, when I lived in places that do practice such things. I see lots of complaints about it, but I'm not sympathetic. My sleep varies by much more than a single hour night-to-night for a wide range of reasons, most of which have to do with me not going to bed when I should, and not decisions made by various legislative bodies.
    On the gripping hand, I'm going to have to remember Larry's point about the dangers to people who can't handle time-shifting (by a single hour) posed by things like international air travel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the way it used to be years ago in the US before Congress decreed universal DST. I recall driving back and forth between New York State and California in September to attend graduate school. One could never be sure what time it was as jurisdictions made individual decisions as to whether to go on DST.

      Delete
  9. A lot of people bitch about DST but I really enjoy having the extra hour of daylight. I don't enjoy driving home from work with the sunset blaring through my windshield reminding me that the day is coming to a close.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is the DWT (daylight wasting time) that they foist on us in winter.

      Delete
  10. It really bugs me how the media throws out these routine stories like clockwork. Every year, same story, same time. I mean really, are humans so goddamned fragile that the loss of one hour of sleep on one night sends them spinning out of control. Imagine, as one example, the pioneers in north america who actually had to catch their own food, clear land of tree roots, live through near-constant famine and disease. What would they think of the modern north american becoming faint at the loss of one hour of sleep on one night? Bah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, it is the very essence of a First-World problem! With rickets on the increase, the need to conserve energy somehow, and the stats that point to fewer deaths if mornings are dark rather than evenings, loss of an hour's shuteye should be more bearable. They can catch up in autumn.

      Delete
    2. Yes, and there was no good reason for me to use north american pioneers as an example when a great percentage of humans alive today do not have the luxury of becoming discombobulated by the variable use of 60 minutes of time.

      Delete
    3. If people refused to click on that same story that comes out every single year, you'd think they would stop publishing it.

      Apparently people continue clicking it and posting about it and making comments on posts that post about the post.

      Yeah. I'm contributing to that.

      Delete
  11. Well here I am, 3 am in the morning. I watched a west coast hockey game tonight (Leafs won) and drank a bottle of wine. No telling what negative effect this will have on my physiology. My plan is to to reverse the negative effect by watching an autumn late night Jays game, again with booze. I'm certain everything will work out for the best. Call me Pangloss.

    ReplyDelete