Sleep Again: Daylight Saving Time Means to the Wrong End

2 11 2007

It just gets longer as my tolerance for it gets shorter. No, not school encroaching on our time this time — my gripe is the escalating legislative manipulation of our biological and social clocks for the bald-faced benefit of government and commerce, to the equally obvious detriment of human health. Especially children’s health.

And then justifying it all as good for the kids! Even as government debates education, obesity concerns and health care coverage FOR children, it ignores this business-pandering example of what government does TO children.

Halloween trick-or-treating was actually touted by the Congressional co-sponsor of lengthening Daylight Switcheroo Time again, I kid you not. Now that’s a real fright — surely even Politically Correct Citizens and CEOs Thinking Highly of Halloween don’t imagine there’s anything about stuffing oneself silly with candy and adrenalin on a school night, that furthers society’s education goals, sleep health or the war on childhood obesity?

cigar-congress-passes-dst-1918.jpeg

Of course the whole structure of clockkeeping for control, curriculum, church and commerce is contrived in the first place, but daylight savings time — the name itself so clearly absurd it ought to be actionable as fraud — saves nothing, makes nothing, builds nothing. It intends to tamper with nature, exert man’s law over the environment and declare victory; better than real is the point! A blithe government lie that adds insult to injury imo.

Sydney Spiesel is associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Yale University’s School of Medicine, writing for Slate as “The Medical Examiner”:

“What happens to the body’s internal clock when it is suddenly reset by society’s clock?”

The body’s daily cycle of activities—the circadian rhythm—determines when we are sleepy and alert, when we want to eat, and even when we produce less urine so our nighttime sleep will be less interrupted. Though there is a spectrum of preferences, from “larks” to “owls,” the internal clocks that set our circadian rhythm are mainly regulated by the time the sun rises. (Here’s how to figure out which kind of bird you are.)

We are not consciously aware of this dependency, and our time of awakening is often affected by external forces, like the need to get to work on time. Chronobiologists, the scientists who study our internal clocks, . . . have found that the relationship between the arrival of dawn and the midsleep point—the time halfway between the moment you fall asleep and the moment you wake up—remains constant, even as the time of sunrise changes when the length of the day varies with the seasons.

Study: A new German study uses this predictable relationship to study what happens to our internal clocks when the external clocks jump an hour forward or backward. . .

And that’s just speaking generally, what about kids and adults with specific time-sensitive conditions like Type 1 diabetes . . .

Dr. Spiesel: Most medications don’t need to be taken at precise intervals (some do), so hospital care isn’t much of a worry at the moment of transition. I doubt that it’s really dangerous for the great, great majority of patients. But I agree that for people like type 1 diabetes the time change can be a real problem, at least until your body adapts.

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11 responses

2 11 2007
JJ

Probably I live in the relatively worst place, too, for experiencing the effects of all this clock-scamming. Tallahassee is mere minutes east of a time zone line so we’re already on the edge where circadian anomalies are apparent. The sun and the clocks don’t match, in other words. Daylight savings time just makes it that much more out of sync.

If I lived way north or south I’d have something “natural” yet more extremely counter-circadian to gripe about — I marvel at Alaskan light and dark seasons and how humans survive them, much less thrive. Seems to me such extremes natural or legislated can’t help but mess with human minds and moods and health.

2 11 2007
LH

“…make Halloween a special and safer treat by allowing kids to go door-to-door while it’s still light out…”

What? What kids wants to trick or treat before it gets dark? We had to wait an extra hour for it to get dark this year and so did all the other kids. Is it the big city kids who are afraid to go out after nightfall?

2 11 2007
JJ

Good point, I wondered about that too. This guy is from MA if I recall, so maybe it is a more urban city thing. OTOH didn’t I read that the average trick-or-treat age is supposedly shrinking; if so, the parents of little ones might be who really want it light out later? Or maybe it just *sounds* safer, seems hard to argue with, and so it makes it easier to pass. I don’t seriously think Halloween has anything to do with it, and if it does, what nonsense our representatives are stooping to!

Welcome btw. I like the name of your new blog. Not that many “liberal homeschoolers” blogging, who I’ve found at least. 🙂

3 11 2007
Nance Confer

So running through the rain in the dark to trick-or-treat as Noel, the tropical mess, passed by — not safe?

Oh well, too late now. And the kids all seem to have survived. 🙂

Now to go check out this “liberal blogger” — hmmm. . .

Nance

3 11 2007
Alasandra

I shall be very grumpy for awhile. I hate day light savings time. I’ll be out of kilter for weeks until I get use to the ‘new time’. Why can’t they just leave it alone. We have this marvelous invention called LIGHTS that allow us to be out at all hours of the day and night anyway.

3 11 2007
JJ

Me too, Alasandra!

Although about the lights, did you know they’re also coming to be viewed as a nature-defying problem, interfering with our human moods, attitudes, and environment? Cumulatively, artificial lighting has become a form of global pollution.

Rolfe is unschooling a budding astronomer (seriously, at the age of 4!) so I recently linked them to the international group raising awareness on how we can avoid the ill effects of manipulating light and darkness for commercial convenience — interesting stuff!

Cooling my heels in a branch library waiting for dancing kids yesterday, I picked up the current New Yorker and was fascinated to read an essay about the “International Dark-Sky Association.”

3 11 2007
JJ

LOL Nance, trick or treating in a tropical storm, perfect. There is nothing “safe” about doing anything in Florida imo. Certainly not since I found that damn snake in my KITCHEN!

(At least Noel — which I couldn’t help hearing as ‘Nole every time, because that’s what that utterance means here in Tallahassee — was the worst of the weather extreme this hurricane season. So I understand we’re about to have Water Wars with Georgia and Alabama now? I wonder what natural phenomena will be politicized next, having stirred up such pitched warfare over hurricanes, wildfires, birth, death, global warming and now light, darkness and water . . .)

3 11 2007
JJ

My 14-year-old nephew sprained his ankle trick-or-treating this year because his mother was trying to keep him “safe” with an early curfew.

He’s a smart, healthy athlete, runs like the wind. He figured he could do the whole huge development in the allotted time if he ran all the way, on the sidewalk which should have been quite “safe” so as not to step in unseen holes in the darkness — except it was not built even with the ground, but higher by more than an inch. His running step came down half on, half off.

4 11 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

Luckily Gunnar has me out every morning because he wants to see Mercury. Apparently the planets didn’t get the memo about daylight savings time. So we’ll have to ignore it too. Another reason I’m glad my kids aren’t going to school!

4 11 2007
JJ

Johnny Carson is being memoralized with a new DVD collection from his best shows. I saw it advertised last night with a stand-up comedy snippet, fresh-faced Ellen Degeneres describing how she “went to kindergarten for two years” until she found out she’d actually been working in a factory . . .

9 03 2008
Damn Daylight Saving Time! « Cocking A Snook!

[…] “Sleep Again: Daylight Savings Time Means to the Wrong End” […]

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