in Rant

How Daylight Saving Time is worse than jet lag

I tried to keep my mouth shut this year about Daylight Saving Time. I really did. I was content to let my friend Damon Circosta take point on this as he likes to do, but I found I could hold out any longer. I’ve heard Kelly relate too many tales of office brain-dead-iness (also know as the Daylight Saving Time Fog) this week not to think this cause deserved another rant.

I used to enjoy comparing Daylight Saving Time to jet lag. After a few mornings spent awakening from unsatisfying nights of sleep, it occurred to me that Daylight Saving Time is actually worse than jet lag.

When you fly to a different time zone your body needs to adjust to local time. It does this through environmental clues, i.e. “the sun comes up later here so therefore I need to wake up later.” For instance in both Raleigh and Los Angeles, the local time at sunrise is around 7 AM and when you’re in either one the clock mostly matches the sun. However, when we reset our clocks without “resetting the sun,” none of the accompanying environmental clues are present to help reset our internal circadian clocks. It’s no longer 7 AM when the sun rises.

The result is a confused body and mind that struggle to reconcile this time fiction with what they are actually experiencing in the environment. Thus, Daylight Saving Time is actually worse than jet lag.