The early bird will need a flashlight. And an EMT.

By 
Deb Hill Yellowstone Newspapers
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Let me be clear on this: I hate Daylight Saving Time.

There are very few things in this life I hate. In fact, I rarely use the word. Except this time of year, in connection with the mandated advancement of the clock.

“Spring ahead, fall back,” the old mantra goes.

Spring ahead. It sounds so innocuous, maybe even progressive. Spring ahead…like you are getting to something more quickly.

I’ll tell you what you are getting to. Death.

It’s real. Studies show setting the clock forward one hour messes with sleep schedules and circadian rhythms, leading to increased numbers of strokes, heart attacks and accidents, and impaired immune systems.

Not to mention increased weight gain due to cravings for sugary foods. Apparently losing sleep inhibits your brain’s ability to decipher when you are full.

Blame it on the time change.

As a natural-born morning person, though, I have another reason to detest the loss of that one hour in the morning.

Darkness.

Every morning I get up at 5:15. Or at least that’s when the alarm goes off. Being most productive early in the day (as are 55 percent of adults, according to a Gallop poll), I like to be up and “at ‘em” at the crack of dawn.

In the summer, greeted by the chirps and twittering of birds, blue sky and sunshine, I bound out of bed, ready to hit the ground running.

In the grimness of winter, I stretch out the minutes, hiding under the covers, dreading the chill indifference of a planet dispossessed of light.

When I finally force myself to rise, the first order of business is walking the dogs. I flounder over the snowdrifts and across the ice by flashlight, dreaming of the day when the morning sun will return. And with it light and warmth, birdsong, the hum of bees -- the feeling that all of nature is out and about, waiting for me to join in.

Impatiently, grudgingly, from mid-December on, I endure the Northern Hemisphere’s slow tilt toward the sun, reclaiming light at the rate of 1 minute per day.

Yet just as the Stygian blackness of morning is yielding ever so slightly, here it comes. DST.

Hello darkness my old friend. It’s daylight saving time again.

Suddenly it’s again blacker than the inside of a coffin at 5 a.m., and I’ll be searching for the flashlight every morning for the next six weeks.

I hate it.

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