Get Ready - Daylight Saving Time Is Upon Us Again
I HATE Daylight Saving Time
It does not seem to matter one iota what time of year Daylight Saving Time happens; everything gets disrupted for me.
I don't sleep well in general—even on days when everything has gone swimmingly and life is feeling like a big win. More often than not, my sleep is horribly broken, and I spend a lot of my night tossing and turning, never really going too far into REM sleep (the sort of sleep you need if you're hoping to catch anything resembling proper rest). If it's not the kids waking me up, it's noises made by the dog or the kids—so I get up, do tuck-ins again, and usually go to the bathroom on my way back to bed. Then, I'm painfully aware of every sound around me: the dog snoring, my husband snoring, my youngest talking in her sleep, or my oldest sighing and flopping this way or that on the bed.
When Daylight Saving Time rolls around, it's a nightmare in my life. My sleep becomes even more rocky, and my kids start waking at really strange times for seemingly no reason. When my girls wake at weird times, I'm awakened, too. The kids don't realize that their sleep patterns are off and that they are more touchy as a result, which results in them fighting more.
My own mental health gets to join in on the roller coaster ride, too. As my quality of sleep goes down, I, too, am far more sensitive and things that wouldn't ordinarily affect me drive me mental. I may feel overly sensitive and want to bawl, while it's also possible I just might be more irritable as it is.
Never mind the actual physical act of changing the clock backwards or forwards; that part is relatively easy. Easy, that is, until you realize after that you've forgotten how to change the clock on the one manual piece of equipment in your house and have to find your owner's manual to remember how to do it.
I acknowledge that perhaps I am spending too much time discussing the issue of time, and that there are perhaps far more important issues on the table to discuss. There are certain benefits to Daylight Saving Time; I do recall that it was first conceived to help farmers by adding an hour to their day, or something like that, and I can understand that being helpful. The agriculture industry is incredibly busy, and I do believe that without a thriving agriculture, society would effectively fall apart - we are basically screwed without a source to keep ourselves going.
But does it have to mess with my sleep schedule?
Some Days, This Sounds About Right
It Does Have An Effect
Some say that there is little to no effect on our biology with Daylight Saving Time. However, because of the shift with what's called the principal time cue—light—our sleep cycle does get messed up a little, and how much depends on the person's overall health, sleep habits and lifestyle.
According to WebMD, the time shift in March is actually a bit harder to deal with than the one in the fall. It's like plane travel - when you fly East, you lose time, to an extent, because of the shift in time zone. It may take a day or two to settle back into the regular routine you had before the hours shifted, and depending on what your sleep habits were like before the clock change, it could take less time than that, but it could take more.
It's suggested that improving your sleep hygiene—no caffeine or exercise for several hours prior to bedtime, for instance—can go a long way towards helping this transition as you adjust, once more, to the shift in time. Earplugs and a sleep mask may also help. Of course, if you, like several thousands, if not millions, of others are sleep deprived, this adjustment could have a bigger play on your system.
In my case, thank goodness for the March school break—I just may be able to squeeze in a nap or two between taking my kids this place or that.