Skip to main content

Losing an hour of sleep

After reading the title of this post, don't mistake me for a health expert or a lifestyle coach who is going to lecture about the importance of sleep. I am also not going to explain how loosing an hour of sleep is going to impact your gut health, circadian rythm or your overall well being. 

Loosing an hour of sleep is an usual phenomenon experienced by those living in North America, parts of Asia, South America and Europe, once in an year though and at different time period for each country. Typically it happens around spring/ summer. Yes, I am referring to Daylight Saving Time (DST). For someone who is born in India like me, it never made sense to observe daylight saving time, until we moved to North America. In fact I hated DST, as my Onsite meetings mostly with my North American Clients and colleagues (while I was working at India), used to get delayed by an hour and run into my late evenings and nights.

For those who are new to this concept, Daylight saving time is the period, during which the clocks are moved an hour forward every year at the onset of spring, to enable us to utilize maximum daylight in a day. Similarly the clocks are set back by an hour at the beginning of the winter. DST doesn't actually create an extra hour of daylight for us. It just shifts the sun rise and sun set time with respect to our every day schedule, which is completely a human intervention. Benjamin Franklin in 1700s proposed to adjust the clock in correspondence to the time sun rises and sets, to maximize the utilization of sun light. In addition, he has also propagated that people can save lots of money on artificial illumination like candles which otherwise had to be burnt for one more hour. 

So how does this work in real-time? Let us assume in February it becomes darker by 6pm. By adopting  DST starting early March, the sun set shifts (per our clocks) by an hr later i.e., 7pm, thereby allowing us to have an additional hour to enjoy sunlight, spend more time outdoors, minimize energy spent to light up our homes. Again in early November the clocks will fall back an hour. It helps to have more sunlight in the mornings. Otherwise the outside here is pitch dark even around 8am. Moving the clock back becomes essential for a seamless routine, enabling smoother and safer commutation specially in the mornings.

And the whole thing doesn't seem to be as simple as adjusting our clock. The pain is real, right from loosing an hour of sleep, adjusting our everyday routine and to train your mind and body to the time change. I am fine with the "spring forward" which occurs every March, because we fairly notice the difference in the evenings when compared to "fall back". During fall back, the sun doesn't set until 9pm. Often times, we missed our dinner time, thinking it is just 5 or 6 in the evening. The difference is very prominent. Other pain point is enabling school going kids to adjust to their routine. Luckily for spring forward, they get March break of one whole week. But during winters, though they get additional one hour of sleep, there is definitely a disruption in their routine.

This change isn't something that isn't doable. All it takes is some deliberate effort to adopt to DST. We generally try to go to bed at least an hour earlier than usual on the day of DST, so that we wake up at the usual time, have a brunch, light snack and early dinner on Sunday, to set the rhythm for the next day, which is especially a Monday. During "fall back", we just do the opposite - have a slightly delayed dinner and call off the day a bit later than usual. If you are a sleepaholic, you can enjoy some extra sleep. How much ever we plan and execute, per my experience it takes at least a week to have a well oiled routine after the time change, twice a year.

Many health experts regard DST as harmful, as it results in behavioral, attention and learning issues in kids and youth, increased risk of accidents, increased health risks associated with heart, diabetes, blood pressure, and is said to cause psychological issues like depression, mood swings etc. In Canada, Yukon and Saskatchewan provinces have permanent DST. I know there has been a bill passed by Ontario government in 2020, to stay on DST instead of the traditional change of time twice every year. But it hasn't been implemented yet. But the change in only few provinces might not be of much help, especially when you are working with people across the globe or at different time zones.

If you wish to read my latest articles and watch the content I create, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!! 


Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anex Monkey Smart Watch

Hello Readers,  Welcome back. While browsing through a weekly flyer by Canadian Tire, my eyes got hold of a smart watch, primarily for its name - Monkey Smart Watch. It's original price was $89.99. On account of Father's Day, the price was slashed 70% and offered for just $24.99 (from June 9th to June 16th).  As it was listed on Canadian Tire website, I thought the product should be genuine and googled to know more about the product. But there weren't sufficient reviews online. So I decided to try it myself and booked it online. This smart watch was launched in the last quarter of 2021 as Anex Monkey Smart Watch. Last year, it had been sold for just $19.99 as part of Black Friday deal. Even after 5 days of waiting, Canadian Tire didn't process my order. On the other hand, the stock was vanishing real quick and only 80 watches were available in our near by store. When checked with their customer service executive, I was told to cancel my online order or wait until they p

Are you planning to take CELPIP?

It is a known fact that anyone who aspires to come to Canada on a student visa or as a Permanent Resident has to give an English Test to prove their proficiency. If you are contemplating between IELTS and CELPIP or want to know which test suits you better or looking for some guidance on how to prepare for CELPIP, then read on. This blog is specially curated for you!! ** Long post alert - consider this article as an essay from IELTS / CELPIP reading. Voila, you already started your preparationšŸ‘ IELTS is an English Language Test that is accepted by wider English speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and hence its reputation amongst the aspiring immigrants. Unlike IELTS, CELPIP is Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), specifically designed to evaluate test takers ability to function in English for Canada's permanent residency, citizenship and professional designation. In the recent times, especially during the pandemic, man

Why I Write - Q&A with Manu

I keep getting direct and indirect questions on Why I Write? There won't be a better occasion than this to address this Q and other frequently asked Qs. It's been exactly 2 years since I started this website -  Manu's Medley  and apparently this is my 100th blog post.  So Why I Write?  I can give a fancier reply stating "I chose to follow my passion". But I won't, as it isn't true. After being in the IT industry for more than a decade, working tirelessly all through the weeks, months and years, I moved to Canada carrying my little one, when the whole world was witnessing one of the deadliest diseases COVID. It was at the same time, I had to take a career break due to few compelling personal reasons and decided to be a full time mom.  It's a new place and a new role, with almost zero support, unlike the support system at India. To top it, the lockdowns and restrictions were never ending. The three of us spent months together within our apartment and my

Recipe: Idiyappam | Sevai | String Hoppers

Idiyappam, is a well known break fast item in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka. It is also known as sevai or string hoppers (in English) and is primarily made out of rice floor. Like idli, idiyappam is made through steaming using no oil, making it very easily digestible and light on stomach.  When I think about idiyappam, I remember 2 instances from my childhood. One of my friend's mom, used to feed her 2 year old with different colourful sevais for evening snack - white, yellow, red along with a liquid version of it too, almost 3-4 times in a week. Later I learnt from her elder daughter (my friend) that they are coconut sevai (sweet version), lemon sevai, tomato sevai and rasam sevai. Though born and brought up in Chennai, we aren't much into idiyappams.  I don't remember eating them until I crossed 10 years. Whenever we visit a doctor with fever, our doctor used to give a list of food items - kanji, bread, idli, idiyappam and rasam rice, which I was usually averse to even

Book: Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is the 3rd book I read this year. The 2nd was Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan. I have posted its audio synopsis and review on my you tube channel - Our_Bookshelf. It is available in this link . Meanwhile, if you wish to read my latest articles and watch the content I create, follow me on  Instagram  and  Facebook !!  Before The Coffee Gets Cold is the first book as part of the series written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. It was originally a play written in Japanese in 2010 that turned out to be a bit hit. Later it was published as a novel in the same language in the year 2015. Due to its popularity, the book was translated into English. The author published sequels Tales from the Cafe, Before Your Memory Fades, Before We Say Goodbye, Before We Forget Kindness in 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2023 respectively. All except Before We Forget Kindness have been translated into English and the fifth book is expected to be released in English in Nov 2024. When I