This time-change thing — is it the dumbest thing we do or what? (Politics notwithstanding).
As of Sunday, we’re back on Daylight Savings. Whew! Morning coffee tastes better in the dark, and evening sunshine mean I can relax in my back yard after work. Daylight Savings is the “Life is Good” portion of the year. More fun can be had if there’s more daylight, and if life can’t be more fun, then what’s the point, really. We all might as well be accountants.
As for Standard Time, I hear farmers prefer it because their workday begins early. Silly farmers — the animals don’t know what time it is. They wake up at dawn and go to sleep at dusk. Go back to bed until sunrise and stop giving your cows sleep deprivation. If you just can’t sleep in, learn to do Sudoku or something. This “tail wagging the dog” stuff needs to stop.
Besides the higher daylight-to-fun ratio, another reason I’m all about Daylight Savings is because the time shift makes my chronic insomnia bearable. I’m hardwired to wake up at 3 a.m., and have been since infancy. Maybe it’s genetic. My parents grew up on the East Coast, so maybe my inner alarm clock is set to Eastern Time on the cellular level.
Or, maybe my insomnia is a subconscious resentment about having to sleep at all. Such a bloody waste of time. (See note on “fun” above. Sleeping is not fun.) Whatever the reason, regardless of how tired my body may be, my brain will only power down long enough to charge its battery just enough to function and then — bink! — 3 a.m. and my brain is opening all the tabs on the browser in my head.
There are a lot of tabs. My brain doesn’t know how to click on the little X.
Before we proceed any further, I beseech you, do not bombard me with insomnia cures. Honest to Goddess, I’ve tried them all. Sleep drugs are out, they make me psychotic; it doesn’t matter what time I go to bed — 10 p.m. or 2 a.m. — I still wake up promptly at 3 a.m.; yoga — already doing it; meditation — ineffective (too many brain tabs open). Herbal supplements — minimally effective, and mostly just make my brain muddy; no TV or computers before bedtime — check; no caffeine after noon — check.
One sweet soul suggested drinking chamomile tea before bed. I howled. That’s like trying to put out a forest fire with a water pistol. Tea? How about an IV drip of Morphine? Now we’re talkin’. Sadly, the insurance company won’t float that. They only pay for drugs that turn me into a wheely-eyed lunatic who wants to punch you in the head because your shirt is ugly. Apparently, Lunesta dissolves my filters, which are somewhat flimsy to begin with.
Acupuncture sorta kinda worked. I’d still wake up, but I could go back to sleep. But the insurance company won’t pay for acupuncture for insomnia, because it’s a chronic condition. Never mind that scores of other health problems would be eliminated if the insomnia was cured — insurance companies aren’t into logic. They’re a “Penny wise, pound foolish” gig.
Remembering my acupuncture success, I got a Spoonk mat, which has about 6,000 tiny extremely sharp spikes. Allegedly, lying on it on your bare skin for 30 minutes triggers the brainy to generate endorphins that help you sleep.
Your body recognizes agony, and is flooded with “fight or flight” hormones — adrenaline and cortisol — and your brain shrieks at you to either flee or beat the attacker to death before it kills you. An impending death match isn’t really conducive to blissful sleep. Maybe I can give my Spoonk to one of my BDSM friends.
There is one thing that kicks back my insomnia: a double-dose of Benadryl. However, I’m leery of taking it all the time. I only resort to Benadryl when I’m so exhausted that I’m nauseated — the “if I don’t sleep, I’ll die” stage.
Happily, Daylight Savings alleviates my insomnia. Suddenly, 3 a.m. becomes 4 a.m., and that much closer to 5 a.m., which is doable. I can function, getting up at 5. When my eyes pop open at 4 a.m., I can just lie there and have zen with the carnival of thoughts flooding my brain, rather than attempt to wrangle them into submission with breathing routines and visualizations. I can ponder what’s on the other side of the end of the universe or why our hair is mostly on our heads or why people like Taylor Swift songs, and before you know it, an hour slips by and it’s time to get up.
Yeehaw! Now, the time is back in sync with me! In a perfect world, everything would bend to accommodate me like this, and we’d all be ever so much happier.
Except those who like Taylor Swift songs. There’d be no more of those.
Let’s do it my way. Let’s stay on Daylight Savings and let the good times roll.
“But wait!” you object. “Without going back to standard time, kids will walk to school in the dark!”
You really think today’s helicopter parents allow their precious children (each one of whom are the center of the entire universe) to walk to school, in the dark or any other time, for that matter? I’ve seen the traffic jams at the schools in the morning and afternoons. Ain’t nobody walkin’ anywhere.
However, if I’m wrong (wouldn’t that be a hoot!), change the start of school to 9 a.m. Recent research says kids need the extra sleep anyway. It’s ridiculous to upheave the entire country twice per year for reasons that don’t actually exist. It’s just stupid, like yanking that mangy groundhog from its hole every February and pretending it predicts the weather.
Yes. Daylight Savings. It’s better for kids, cows and — most important — me.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at email@example.com; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com