The Dreaded DST

This “Late Saturday Night/Really Early Sunday Morning” marked the arrival of one of my very least-favorite times of year: the dreaded Daylight Savings Time. (As you can see from the artist’s rendering of me on the right, there are deep bags under my eyes. I expect those to last for at least a month. The crabby expression may last a good while longer.)

Over at her NCRegister blog, Jennifer Fulwiler speaks eloquently about the particularly troublesome aspects of DST for those of us that fall into the category of “parents with small children”:

With four kids under the age of seven, I am particularly impacted by this scourge. I live and die by our daily schedule, and being sleep deprived is my default state. Which is why in my house I refer to Daylight Saving Time—which throws my schedule into chaos and costs me sleep—as Daylight Insanity Time. In fact, each year I go through fives distinct psychological states, ranging from anger to confusion, before I can finally come to terms with what happens to us the second Sunday of every March.

This year, DST has “charmingly” coincided with our efforts to attend daily morning Mass as a family for Lent. Getting all the kids fed, dressed, and into the car in order to make a semi-timely appearance at our local church is hard enough when they’re rolling out of bed at an unusually (for them) early 6:30 am. Now, only three days into the project, we’re prodding them out of bed at 6:30 am, but as an added bonus, it feels like 5:30 am to their sleep-deprived little bodies. I fear they may be fomenting rebellion as I type.

As a bonus, The Corner’s John J. Miller posts his annual diatribe, including this charming little factoid:

But the very worst thing about DST is that it’s bad for your health. According to Stanley Coren, a sleep expert at the University of British Columbia, the number of traffic accidents and fatal industrial mishaps increase on the Monday after we spring forward. The reason, presumably, is because losing even a single hour of sleep over the weekend makes a lot of people a bit drowsier on what we might usefully call Black Monday. Unfortunately, there’s no compensating effect of a super-safe Monday as we go off DST and “fall back” in the autumn.

Time to stop the madness! Think about the children! (I’m sorely tempted to set the timestamp for this post an hour late, in silent, futile protest. But The Man might be ticked. And who knows what he’ll do with the clock if he’s ticked.)

By

Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. Currently residing in Lander, Wyoming -- "where Stetsons meet Birkenstocks" -- he is a columnist for Crisis Magazine and the Patheos Catholic portal.

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