Kill Daylight Saving Time or Let It Live
It's back! November 7 at 2 a.m. Mountain Standard Time returns. The end of the summertime Daylight Saving Time for another year - except in places like Arizona. We have the usual reminders for you.
The slogan is "Spring Forward, Fall Back," which tells you which way to set the clock. When you go to bed Saturday night, November 6, set your clock back one hour and you'll be on time Sunday morning. However, many recent clocks (and internet-connected things like cellphones) will do it automatically. Don't be confused.
Setting yourself back an hour is a little more difficult. Sleep specialists say you should already be adjusting your bedtime back about 10 minutes a night as we approach the time change. Of course, your dog or cat doesn't know anything about the time change, so you'll be getting those overnight and early morning pet demands at the old DST time. Damn!
Health effects have been publicized more and more. Changing the hours twice a year can lead to what is called Persistent Circadian Misalignment, where your internal clock doesn't match up with your work or school activities. That covers such things as increased risk of health dangers like cancer and, in the spring, increased traffic accidents from losing an hour of sleep. Some researchers also see a problem with mood swings, too.
An AP poll came up with a majority of Americans (7 in 10) who want to just keep the same time all year. Of course, there are health effects of that, too. In the winter, humans have to start their day's activity in the dark, with possible physiological damage. Then, there's the danger of kids waiting for buses in the dark, and adults having to use headlights to drive to work. And, there's the added energy cost of turning on all those lights around the house and at work.
Tennessee and Florida would like Daylight Saving Time to be year-round - if Congress passes a measure to eliminate the twice-a-year time change. There are bills in both Houses of Congress to address the situation, but no actual movement on either of them. As long as we keep doing this, it's a good time to remind you to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and CO2 detectors. Oh, and try to get a good night's sleep.