In my opinion

Ana Veciana-Suarez: Daylight Savings Time is an avoidable annoyance

 

aveciana@MiamiHerald.com

Dang! My body is totally out of whack. It’s tired when it should be busy and twitching for action when it should be sleeping. Double dang that Daylight Savings Time!

Sure, I love the late sunsets, the flaming skies and orange-limned clouds that linger long past dinner. I can work in the yard or enjoy happy hour by the pool before the insufferable heat of late spring debuts Miami’s version of an outdoor sauna.

But I hate — hate! — the tarry darkness of morning. As I write this, the sun has yet to rise and the birds have yet to sing. Though I hear all the familiar noises of a suburban a.m. — the neighbor starting up his car, school bus brakes screeching, Hubby rustling in the room next door — it feels like I should be in bed not in front of my faithful computer screen.

I miss all that I’ve come to expect from my discipline of earlier-than-early wake-ups, namely the amber light that seeps through the blinds in my home office as I take the throne of industriousness. This is an especially inspiring light, one replete with hope. Now that promise arrives late, a duplicitous greeter.

I’m no fan of DST. It’s pointless, an outmoded practice that makes little sense and does more harm than good. I hate — hate! —the abruptness of the time change and would prefer a gradual sliding into the season. For me, the obvious solution is to stick to one clock, pick one, any one, I don’t care, and forget about all these time contortions.

Enough of this idiotic disruption of our circadian rhythms.

Oh, I know I’ll hear from the readers who think DST is the next best thing to chocolate hazelnut spread, an invention I consider the epitome of gourmet offerings. They’ll write me about the benefits of … blah blah blah … and the savings of … blah blah blah. I’ve heard it all before. Twice a year my friends divide into two vehemently vocal camps, and there is no way either side will ever understand the other’s argument. This is a visceral reaction to a contentious subject and debate will do little to budge anyone.

Nevertheless I know I have science on my side. The latest, a survey by the Better Sleep Council, reports that the immediate effects of losing an hour of ZZZ’s following the time change affects everything from people’s moods to eating and driving habits. About a third of us need a week to get used to the change. Other studies also disprove that DST reduces traffic accidents and improves our health.

I say we rise against the oppression of government-mandated, Big Brother clock changes. The citizens of America, weary of this shut-eye interruption, have already launched a grassroots movement to return sanity to time-keeping. There’s an online petition on the crowd-sourcing platform We the People demanding the elimination of the bi-annual time change. I’m sure our tireless and collegial representatives in Washington will work together to change this. It’d be a cinch in comparison to fixing that pesky budget deficit.

“The original reasons for the policies are no longer applicable, and the most cited reason for keeping DST (energy savings) has never been shown to be true,” the petition begins.

And it ends with this nugget of refreshing honesty: “Also: It’s really annoying.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

Follow Ana on Twitter @AnaVeciana.

Read more Ana Veciana Suarez stories from the Miami Herald

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