Hurray for an extra hour of sleep!

So, tonight, the clocks “fall back,” an enormously gratifying annual ritual that gives me one more hour of sleep.  It’s especially handy this year because it happens to fall on Hallowe’en, a day when many people are likely to stay up a little late and get more out of that extra hour.

I’d be lying if I said I understood why we switch the hours twice a year, though.  I always assumed that it had something to do with putting daylight hours more squarely in the middle of the day, for industries that benefit from natural light.  But, what industries are those, exactly?  Agriculture and farming, maybe?  I have trouble believing that just changing the clocks could meaningfully impact anything — it’s not as if there is actually more daylight as a result, and wouldn’t any industry that is affected by the diminishing sunlight in certain seasons have to adjust more than twice a year anyway?  It seems to me that forcing billions of people to adjust their daily routine by one hour twice a year is more trouble than it’s worth, especially when “merely” millions of people could instead just change when they arrive at work by an hour and leave the clocks alone — it would actually be exactly the same thing for them, except that they’d have to remember that work starts at 8am instead of 7am.

It’s also a bit of an annoyance remembering that not everywhere observes Daylight Saving Time, and the places that do aren’t always in sync about when it happens.  Arizona and Hawai’i are about to shift by an hour relative to the rest of us, which isn’t so bad for Hawai’i —  in a different time zone anyway — but must be annoying for Arizona.  Fortunately, I don’t know anyone who lives there, and can’t imagine why I ever would.  However, I’m personally peeved that the US and EU change their clocks at different times (it was last week for them), because it means that twice a year I have to remember that the usual “eight hours difference to the UK, nine to the continent” rule is all screwy.  It sounds trivial (and, yeah, really, it is trivial), but I consistently mess up phone calls and IM’s with friends there during the almost-month each year that the clock changes don’t overlap.

But, hot damn does it feel great to get an extra hour in autumn!  I’m perfectly aware that it comes at the rather miserable cost of losing an hour in spring, but spring is forever away, and I get my extra hour now.  For at least one sleepy hour tomorrow morning, I will be fully in favour of changing the clocks.

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