If you remembered to set your clocks last night to “fall back” for the return to standard time, then you enjoyed an extra hour of sleep this morning. ABC News makes some dubious claims in a recent article, Daylight Savings Time Ends This Weekend, and It’s Healthy:
…many doctors say the return to standard time — and the extra hour of sleep you get in the morning — can be healthy.
Uh, we’re talking about one morning, right? Or are the authors under the impression that we get an extra hour every morning that standard time is in effect? Of course, the extra hour in the fall (and the corresponding loss of an hour in the spring) is the function of the switch from one convention to the other, and is not inherent to either.
Personally I prefer daylight savings time, as I find an hour of sunlight more useful in the evening than in the morning. Who works in the yard or plays catch with the kids at the crack of dawn, versus after work? My preference would be to go with DST year around.
The article did provide me with an insight for getting the perceived benefits of additional sleep every day, regardless of the timekeeping convention. According to Steven Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, we have difficulty with the “spring forward” time change due to biology:
…our basic circadian rhythm (the ‘body clock’) actually seems to be programmed for a longer than 24 hour day. It runs a little slow.
Every day on Mars (its rotational period) is 24 hours and 37 minutes long. Sign me up for that.