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Feeling rested after extra hour of sleep?

If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet turned your clock back, you’re probably already late for church.

Or were you early for church?

I can never keep those straight. Either way, we’re told we should have awoken today feeling exceptionally rested since we supposedly gained an extra hour of sleep.

Or an extra hour to binge watch NCIS on Netflix.

Or, some graveyard shift workers might have gained an extra hour of work.

When my boys were babies, the beginning and end to daylight saving time was always a struggle. Just when you get them into a good sleep routine, along would come the time change, and suddenly they were not wanting to go to sleep at bedtime — or worse, they were waking up at 5 a.m.

Apparently chicken farmers face the same challenges with fowl that just hate rising earlier. Funny, I thought roosters were always up at the crack of dawn.

For so many of us who never seem to have enough hours in the day, you’d think we’d be thrilled with the concept of gaining an hour in our lives by “falling back.”

Nope. I hear complaints about the end of daylight saving time way more than I do about the beginning in March. The change that generally comes around the first week of November signals the start of winter. As if shortened days aren’t already bad enough, now we turn back the clocks so it’s dark at 5 p.m.

Brilliant.

Commonly, people blame the American farmer for the creation of daylight saving time. It’s widely believed that farmers pushed the idea of turning ahead the clocks in March, providing opportunities for more natural daylight.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, that’s simply not true.

The first true push for daylight saving time came in 1907 from Englishman William Willet.

He even wrote a manifesto titled, “The Waste of Daylight,” where he wrote, “Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shrinkage as the days grow shorter; and nearly everyone has given utterance to a regret that the nearly clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used.”

According to the Almanac, Willet spent a small fortune lobbying businessmen, members of Parliament and the U.S. Congress to put clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, and reverse the process on consecutive Sundays in September. The proposal was met mostly with ridicule. One community even opposed it on moral grounds, calling the practice the sin of “lying” about true

time.

The idea finally caught on in Europe during World War I for the purpose of coal conservation. The United States jumped on board in 1918, and Americans were encouraged to turn off their lights and go to bed around 8 p.m.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, farmers were the strongest opponents of the idea. The law was soon repealed in the U.S.

But it re-emerged during World War II, again due to energy conservation.

Eventually, U.S. Congress made daylight saving time law, but even today some farmers’ organizations lobby Congress against the practice, largely because, according to the Almanac, farmers prefer early daylight to start their work and a standard time sunset that doesn’t change.

Interestingly, this year 26 states debated the idea of ending the bi-annual clock switch, but any state legislation still would be overridden by federal law.

According to U.S. News and World Report, nine states introduced legislation to stay permanently on standard time; eight states want to adopt permanent daylight saving time. Three states

apparently are so confused they are proposing both.

Ohio and Pennsylvania are not among any of the states proposing any changes.

As for me, I’d be happy to stay on daylight saving time year-round. Sure it’s nice to have that extra hour today, but when it comes time to spring forward in March, I’ll either be losing sleep or, if I forget — which is more likely — once again, I’ll either be late — or early — for church.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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