The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Daylight Savings this weekend


March 7, 2018

It’s time to wake up an hour earlier! March 11th is Daylight Saving Time day which means we need to spring forward an hour. Before you go to bed turn your clock ahead.

The following day or for that matter even a week afterwards our conversation will be all about the new time period. Conversations will be about how we hate Daylight Saving Time. Big Sandy residents have their opinions. “I wish they would leave time alone.” “I hate it.” “Ok, Change the time to give us more light in the summer, but leave it there. Don’t change it back ” “I like it when we fall back. I don’t like it when we spring forward. If we could just consistently fall back it would be great,” she said laughing. “I don’t mind it at all. I like it. I like the extra sunlight hours at night.”

Many sources credit Benjamin Franklin with being the first to suggest seasonal time change. However, that is erroneously given to him. His idea was written in a letter in 1784 and he cannot be given the credit because it did not even involve turning the clocks. In a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, which was entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, Franklin simply suggested that they could save on candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning. His proposal was to change people’s sleeping schedules. “What’s more: Franklin meant it as a joke.”

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time, which is also called “Summer Time” in many places in the world, is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Countries of the world have different change dates. Clocks in the Germany and Austria, were turned ahead by 1 hour on April 30, 1916—2 years into World War I. The rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting to save fuel for the war effort.

The Federal law in the United States was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April. Under legislation enacted in 1986, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. began at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and ended at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.

Most people don’t mind an extra hour of sleep, but changing the time so you lose an hour of sleep does affect how we sleep. It’s similar to airplane travel, when we lose time. Our bodies have a natural rhythm to sleep. There are somethings we can do to prepare for it. It’s especially true for children. Don’t just set the clock forward an hour one night and expect to get right back in sync; It takes some time to adapt to that loss of sleep. To help adjust, it is suggested to gradually shifting your bedtime later in preparation for daylight saving time. So, if your child goes to bed at 8 p.m., put him to bed at 7:45 p.m., then 7:30 p.m., and so on until he’s going to bed as close to 7 p.m. as possible. If possible, wake him up a little earlier, as well.

“Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your body’s internal clock. It increases in the evening as it becomes dark, which helps induce sleep, and shuts down when it’s light out, which can then keep us awake. So, daylight-saving time throws our natural cycle out of whack a bit. To help, dim the lights in your or your child’s bedroom and turn off all electronics about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. According to The National Sleep Foundation, such devices can reduce sleep time, sleep quality, and daytime alertness because of the light exposure as well as the fact that they engage the brain right before bedtime. In the morning, get your child in the light as much and as quickly as possible. If that’s not an option, turn on the lights in the house so it’s nice and bright.”

When daylight saving time begins or ends, it’s especially important to stick with a bedtime routine, as your child is now dealing with a change in schedule that might throw him off. “For young children, it’s absolutely critical that they have a routine during bedtime,” says Dr. Lewin. “That’s what helps create a powerful signal for sleep.” One option for example is exactly what most of us do: giving your child a warm bath, reading him a book, and snuggling together before lights out.

No matter how you feel about it or how you respond to it. You’ll need to change your clock or you’ll be late.


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