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How to deal with losing sleep due to Daylight Saving Time

Planning ahead can help you combat fatigue from losing an hour of sleep for Daylight Saving Time. Here's the best strategy, according to Michelle Drerup, PsyD from the Cleveland Clinic.
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Planning ahead can help you combat fatigue from losing an hour of sleep for Daylight Saving Time. Here's the best strategy, according to Michelle Drerup, PsyD from the Cleveland Clinic.

The return to Daylight Saving Time is one of my favorite days of the year.

It’s not Opening Day, St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas Eve. But it’s bigger than Halloween, Columbus Day, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Spring forward. The clock change pushes sunsets later into the evening hours and sunrises later into the morning hours.

We gain an hour of evening daylight. Finally. It’s been a long, cold, wet, dreary three months.

We lose an hour of sleep. I’ll make that trade because purpose has returned to evenings.

DST returns and suddenly 8:30 p.m. seems too early to go to bed.

What’s that old Chicago song?

Sure, it will take me a few days to confidently determine what time it is, really.

I’ll get to my wrist watches, one by one, as I wear them.

Eventually, my car’s clock will get changed this week, month, or sometime before DST ends in the fall.

My cellphone’s clock reset automatically, or did it?

What about the microwave?

I hope our return to more evening daylight means less grayness, too. If you sketched January-February 2019, it’d be captured accurately in charcoal.

Gray. Dark. Grayer. Darker.

Some days this winter, when it was dark at 4:30 p.m. I’d think about summer nights when it was light outdoors at 8:30 P.M. That’s a four-hour swing of less light and more darkness. By March, well, it’s why my cabin fever is so bad.

I welcome DST’s return because I’m tired of leaving home when it’s dark and getting home when it’s dark.

I’ve read about the history of DST, and why we continue to switch and forth every March and April. I’m sure there is logic. I’ve read about Ben Franklin, Woodrow Wilson, World War I, Ronald Reagan, farmers, school bus drivers and something called the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Daylight saving time in the U.S. started as an energy conservation trick during World War I and became a national standard in the 1960s. The idea was to shift the number of daylight hours into the evening. If the sun sets at 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., we’d presumably spend less time with the lights on in our homes at night, saving electricity.

Sounds outdated. Today, we are too occupied with our phones, day and night, and it doesn’t matter if the lights are on or off as long as our battery is charged.

I wish Daylight Saving Time was year around because I’m more of an evening guy than a morning guy.

When DST arrives, it’s time to check out my bikes and fill up the tires. See if last summer’s shorts fit around the waist or if they shrank again.

I know baseball season is just around-the-corner. As a kid, I knew that when DST arrived, our evening baseball games at school would soon start. They started at 6 p.m. and had to be done by dusk, or in time to get a rainbow sno-cone and licorice rope from the concession stand.

With more evening light, you can cut grass, golf, bike ride or walk, after work. You can hit the driving range. Or just sit on the front porch and do nothing but be grateful that it’s still light outdoors at 8 p.m.

With less morning light, you have to deal less with those pesky Morning Glories for an extra hour every day. You know a Morning Glory, I’m sure. They’re annoyingly chirpy in the morning, like birds. They wake up all perky. Walk the dog before sunrise. Talk your ear off if you make eye contact. Get right up in your face. Eyes all buggy. Smiles. La, la, la.

I’m OK with Morning Glories, in general, as long as they leave me alone until noon.

Advice: See one and keep your head down.

Might be my imagination, but a lot of annoying Morning Glories wear Cub hats, too.

That’s why today is one of my most favorite days of the year.

I lost an hour of sleep but I feel more rested than I did only yesterday.