I <3 Daylight Savings Time

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

Last Sunday, it was time to turn back the clocks once again. At 6 o’clock on that fateful day, sitting at the kitchen table about to have supper, I realized that there was no way I would be walking the family dog that evening, given that it was already pitch black and freezing cold outside. For me, Sunday marked the beginning of another stretch of dull and dark winter afternoons and evenings. Yes, I’ve been missing daylight savings since day one; the extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning was a pathetic consolation prize.

I’m not familiar with the exact details of why how daylight savings helps us, but I do know that ”saving” daylight by changing our clocks twice a year is done mainly for economic benefits and for lifestyle benefits. Daylight savings can’t be called a boon to the economy, but apparently it does make the change worthwhile.  Lifestyle benefits however, that I can attest to. Although everyone groans and moans in the spring when we jump ahead an hour to make use of early morning sunlight, no one complains when during the summer, we have sunlight at our disposal in the great outdoors late into the evening.
Call me the typical teenager. While a few years ago, you would probably have found me dozing soundly around 10 o’clock, I’ve now become accustomed to staying up until it’s late at night. I still occasionally revert to my early bird habits and wake up at 4 or 5 am to start a day that I envision will be particularly long. However, recently I find that I’m quicker and more efficient when working on certain tasks late at night–writing a column such as this one is something that I actually do with more ease at night than during the day.  That’s why I love daylight savings time. The more sunlight in my life, the better quality my life is (unless that sunlight is scorching my skin at the beach, of course), as far as I’m concerned, and I can enjoy sunlight more during daylight savings time since it is still there when I return home from school or work during the warmer half of the year.
I wish we could keep the clocks set an hour ahead all year round. For me and for a great many other NBers I imagine, there is nothing more spirit-crushing than arriving home from school/work at 5 o’clock to find that dusk has already settled into the sky quite comfortably. The trade-off for losing an hour of sunlight in the evening is an hour of sunlight in the morning, but to me that seems like a bad deal. I feel that most people don’t really care much for the sun rays that peeping through their windows as they get ready for school or work. An hour of sunlight in the evening is much more useful. It allows us to go outside (maybe for some invigorating exercise!) without feeling as freezing cold as we would without it and it brightens everyone’s mood in the evening.
Are there benefits to setting our clocks back in sync with nature? To be honest, I don’t know. What I do know however is that sunlight in the evening is much appreciated by yours truly and by many others, I would imagine. CBC informs me that during the World War II, Germans set their clocks two hours forward in the summer and only an hour back in the winter. In Canada, each province decides how it will or won’t save daylight. We NBer’s are an hour of everyone else already because of our belonging to the Atlantic time zone, but why not be avantgardiste? It would certainly brighten our days.
Originally published in the Times & Transcript on November 12th, 2011.

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