I have to be honest with you. I don’t see the big deal some writers are making about some Americans having to change the clocks to daylight savings time (DST) this weekend. It’s only an hour. Essentially, you lose an hour of sleep. Who hasn’t done that without major consequences in their lives?
I stayed up for all of the eighteen-inning game that my Giants won against the Washington Nationals during the playoffs last year. Sure, I was a little sleep deprived the next day, but DST is only one hour.
I have been through a few of these time changes. According to one article, my wife and I might be judged for “bad parenting” because we thought nothing of it while raising our two daughters. But, I guess I am wrong about this.
For some of you…
According to an article on WebMD, moving your clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue light — for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. In doing so, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with your current day-night cycle. How well we adapt to this depends on several things.
But it’s only one hour….
Richard Gelula, National Sleep Foundation’s executive director warns:
“Too many people will sacrifice yet another hour of sleep when the clocks change—an hour they cannot afford to lose, particularly on the weekend, when people try to catch up on sleep they missed during the week.”
Really? We live and work in Silicon Valley. Can anyone actually say that one-hour of lost sleep made a big difference in how they feel during the day? I don’t!
It’s Costing Us Too…Oh Come On Now….
Yep. It has been estimated that this loss of an hour of sleep may cost American $434 Million in lost productivity and put drivers at an increased risk of having an accident.
OK, the accumulation of “sleep debt” can increase your risk of having an automobile accident. Reaching for the half eaten Big Mac sitting in the seat next to you could have the same outcome.
Bad Parenting? Really….
Does anyone know if there’s a statute of limitations on bad parenting? If there are no limitations, then my wife and I should go into a witness protection program—pronto!
It seems some babies and infants are affected by sleeping less than an hour—causing early-morning crying fits and late night bedtime battles. We never gave DST a second thought as we were raising our two daughters.
Some Helpful Tips for Combatting This Dreaded Curse…
So, if you are affected by the change to DST, here are some tips to combat the fatigue you will have by not having an extra hour of sleep:
- For children, start moving the wake time, sleep time and mealtimes slowly over a few days in anticipation of the time change.
- For yourself, here are some recommendations:
- Light is the main environmental clue that disturbs your sleep so you might take Melatonin to help you sleep.
- Expose yourself to bright light during your waking hours.
- Do not expose yourself to bright light when it’s dark outside.
- If you get up at night to go to the bathroom, do not turn on the light. Prepare beforehand by installing a night-light.
You have been forewarned. You might want to stay tucked in bed, with the covers pulled up around your ears and wait this one out until Monday morning, when the coast should be clear to resume your life.
Dr. Aldon Hilton