Editors note: I’ve gotten a bit busy, so this blog hasn't been as active as it might be, especially in this busy time of year, so I’m enlisting some guest bloggers. If you have something to say, let me know. - Scott
In thinking about what message I wanted to share in this article, I immediately thought of all the many articles I’ve read and research I’ve reviewed to support the fact that there is a significant impact on our emotional well-being and overall health as a result of the still-used, archaic practice of setting the times forward and back each year. Then I thought about sharing the documentation I have found to confirm why this practice is no longer necessary based on why it was started to begin with.
But I am not going to share all the proof, research, documentation, etc. to prove my case for ending this useless tradition because likely you have seen it all or can find it here on this site.
Instead, I am going to share why I am so passionate about staying in daylight saving time and how it impacts me and so many others on a daily basis.
I am a runner. I am also a woman. I only run in daylight hours for safety reasons, so once we “fall back,” I end up “falling back” on my running and training.
Use a treadmill, you say? Well, for someone who has been a lifelong runner and runs for the pure enjoyment of being outdoors and releasing stress as I take in the scenes from the outdoors, it is not the same. Losing my routine, my stress release, and my exercise has a significant impact on me and many others in the same situation.
In daylight saving time, I come home from work and still feel that I have some time to enjoy the outdoors, play outside with my daughter, chat with neighbors, go to our pool, eat outdoors, etc.
You get where I am going here.
After the “Fall Back” I feel like my free time has been cruelly taken from me like a rug pulled out from under my feet in just a moment’s time. I get home in the dark. No one is outside. No one wants to be outside. Our bodies have an internal clock and there is enough research to document this a thousand times over.
As soon as it gets dark, our bodies secrete more melatonin signaling the body its time to rest. I don’t want to rest and go to bed when I get home! After a long day, THIS is MY free time. Instead, I am half asleep by 7:00 p.m., my daughter is glued to her video games (rather than playing outside), and my husband has another excuse not to prune the trees in the backyard. Depressing.
Along with feeling sleepy, feeling sluggish and down are par for the course. Our routines are off, we are outdoors less, we get less exercise and fresh air. Beyond the fact that our day ends at 5 p.m., it is also the shift in our schedule that has a significant impact on our bodies, and our circadian rhythms. The end of daylight-saving time in the fall affects our mood, mental alertness, activity, appetite, attitude, and even our heart function!
Our bodies are smart. Our bodies LIKE consistency and patterns because they build functions from that regularity. Did you know that if you wake every morning at 6:00 a.m., for example, that your body begins to produce the hormones necessary to help you wake and feel more alert at that time?
Our bodies functions are built upon routine, and when we disrupt it, we disrupt our bodies. I don’t need to quote scientific research to prove this because it is something everyone has experienced. We all feel a bit off when off our normal routine. This is because we are disrupting our body’s pattern and routine.
Given there are no proven benefits to continuing to practice this useless practice of switching our clocks back and forth, and there are so many benefits to keeping daylight saving time all year round, voting YES on Prop 7 in CA should be obvious. Further, we should push the federal government to make this standard throughout the US. Just because millions of us have a fascination with the show The Walking Dead, doesn’t mean we want to be among the zombie crew every time we end daylight saving time.
Remember….this year we “fall back” (such a perfect term for such a silly old practice) on
We have the power to vote to stop this practice on November 6.
Use your power.