Down with Daylight Saving Time

It’s a new millennium. Our culture should grow and adapt as time passes. Today is Daylight Saving. We “sprung forward” at 2 a.m. – or rather, we simply skipped over that hour and went from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. I know, it’s dumb.

I am anti-Daylight Saving. Now, before the cantankerous caterwauling at me begins, it is not specifically Daylight Savings I am against. I hold firm the belief that our country should do away with the time change altogether. I propose we pick a time and stick with it. In the spirit of compromise, perhaps we can spring forward only a half hour this year. And then never change it again.

You know who else thinks constantly changing our clocks is dumb? Babies. And dogs. And Hawaii.

Our government is slowly coming around to this realizations, but they seem to be taking the approach of closing their eyes and sticking their fingers in their ears. “LALALALALA – I can’t hear you…” When I was a kid, DST was six months on and six months off. Several years ago, the powers that be decided it would be a better idea to push Standard time to a wimpy four months. (Explain to me why standard is less than non-standard…) Apparently, we’re trying to save energy because there’s less need for someone to hit the light switch if the evening stays light later.

Let’s assume that is true (despite studies showing a big fat donut in the significant results column). Wouldn’t we want to save this energy all year long?

The California Energy Commission has more information on this whole pointless exercise in futility. I’m not pretending to be even remotely open-minded about my stance on the issue – not that I’ve found an actual argument in favor, but apparently popular opinion didn’t like it back in 1918. I have no idea why. So I am interested in hearing opposing debates.

Because while commissions and committees are debating energy merits for a custom with no solid background, my son is sitting (not lying) in his crib playing with his mobile. “I don’t WANT to nap now!” Which is going to make this first full Daylight Saving Time evening even more entertaining since he didn’t WANT to sleep this morning either.

 

Sleep

I left the house without my keys this morning. I walked out the front door and stood in front of my car for a full minute, trying to process the problem facing me. Finally, it occurred to me that since the car was locked, I should find someway of altering that situation. I went back inside and promptly forgot why I’d done that.

Back in college, we used to joke that, “Sleep is a crutch!” We’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking, then drag ourselves – bleary-eyed – to any class that had the audacity to take place before noon. For two years, I participated in Children’s Theatre. This class required me to be present at 7 a.m., before we costumed up and went to perform teachable lessons at school assemblies around the Bay Area. That is the full extent of my memories of the program. I may have even slept-walked through a couple performances. (I do recall dressing up as a mama bear and a gypsy…)

Then I landed a job that required my tushy to be in my chair at my desk by 6 a.m. (NYSE hours). I still occasionally stayed up through the wee hours – but my definition of “wee hours” rapidly changed: any point on the clock involving double-digits. (In hindsight, I don’t think I’ll even specify between standard and military time.)

Interestingly enough, the muppets have been sleeping far more these days – practically through the night. We even had a stint from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. this week. But the stress and sleep deprivation of these past five months is starting to catch up with me. I am now fully aware of why they call it “mommy brain.”

A recent Yahoo! Health article points out some of the most common sleep misconceptions. Number one is that people can be “short sleepers.” The article goes on to say that the majority of adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep, per night, to remain healthy. These scientists obviously do not have children.

According to BabyCenter.com, most muppet-aged babies (I’m averaging actual and adjusted ages) sleep a total of 12 to 15 hours a day, including nighttime sleep and naps. And, around three months, little ones begin to develop more of a regular sleep/wake cycle and no longer require as many midnight snacks.

But in addition to sleeping more at night, Caden and Logan are far more alert during the day. It’s awesome to see them looking around, wide-eyed, as they take in everything new to the world for them. I may complain about the exhaustion from being “on” 24/7, but their discoveries certainly put a new perspective on things.

I have no idea what I’m doing as a new mom. I’m sure being on high-alert in anticipation of their next adventure is what makes me tired – well, that waking up at their every movement to make sure they’re okay. But that absolutely must pale with the exhaustion from trying to learn how to live.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure their wonder of learning all things new and exciting includes the genetic predisposition of “Sleep is a crutch!” Why sleep when stuff might be happening?!