Before you go to bed Saturday night, be sure to set your clock ahead, or spring forward, one hour for daylight saving time.
This is probably my least favorite weekend of the year. At the end of the summer, to capitalize on daylight, we experienced my favorite weekend of the year.
What makes them different?
That’s easy: in the fall, we “fall back” and gain an hour of sleep between Saturday and Sunday nights. Tonight, we lose that hour of sleep. It’s all in the name of daylight saving time. (Note that it’s saving, not savings. Remember: we are “saving daylight” and you’ll drop the s.)
You might well argue, based on the cumulative effect of the two, that we haven’t really gained or lost anything. After all, for every 23-hour day that happens at the start of spring when we set the clocks forward an hour, there’s a 25-hour day around autumn that gives us the hour back. So we all have those same 24-hour days with only two oddballs that still average out to be 24-hour days.
But wake up early on a Sunday morning an hour early than your brain tells you you’re supposed to and tell yourself that same thing.
At that particular moment, with the temptation to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock stronger than ever, you probably won’t have an easy time of convincing yourself.
Unless you’re in those small parts of the country where there’s no participation in such a plan, which only serves to further confuse the rest of us. Thanks for that, by the way.
Researchers argue that we may be losing something when we turn the clock forward: numerous studies suggest that there’s a prolonged effect associated with that one-hour loss of sleep that can last a week or more. Many of us are already operating under a continual sleep deficit; the loss of one hour, by itself, may not be a big deal. But the readjustment the body needs to compensate for that one hour and, more importantly, the time necessary to reset the mental clock can have an even bigger impact.
Try to get to bed an hour early if you can, and hope that helps. Good luck.
And by the way, my firefighter friends would appreciate it if you’d also use this occasion to check and, if necessary, replace the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors. Most of us never even think of our smoke detectors unless things go a bit awry during an occasional cooking effort, anyway.
Tying their maintenance to an event like this is at least a good opportunity to get more people to remember to check the little gadget that could very well save their lives in an emergency.
I hope you’ll remember both before you go to bed!