Fooling Myself

There’s less than a month left.  I’m trying not to dread it.  It’s that Saturday/Sunday transition when everything changes, and not for the better.  I’m talking about the dreaded Daylight “Saving” Time, specifically in the wee hours of March 10/11, 2013.  This is going to be particularly difficult for me this year, because I’ll be going to bed after midnight and will have to be up at the Earth rotational equivalent of 5 a.m., even though my clock will still say 6.

I’m finding that, as I get older, this disruption in circadian rhythm is becoming harder and harder to deal with. The springing forward, that is.  Falling back is always a relief, much more so now.  My body doesn’t seem to want to adjust to getting up earlier by the sun for weeks. 

Recently, I’ve been playing around with my schedule, because I can.  Four days off really allows me to experiment.  I’ve also been sleeping better over the last few months.  I’m not using G’s medication much now, except occasionally on work nights when sleep is already at a minimum.  All the exercise is helping, and I’m finding that a few minutes in the hot tub when I finish up my shift is a great way to relax and puts me in a better frame of mind for sleeping.  I’m also allowing myself to wake up naturally on my days off.  I still don’t sleep all that late, as I’m usually wide awake before 7 a.m., but knowing that I won’t be pulled out of sleep by an alarm is a nice feeling.

However, I had a crazy idea a couple of weeks ago that might change all that, at least for the next three weeks or so.  A few years ago, when it came time to spring forward, I started changing all the clocks forward on that Saturday morning.  It was only a psychological trick, but for some reason, by doing it as soon as I got up, my body seemed to adjust better to it.  I mean, by the time I went to bed, the time was already “right” for the next day, so I didn’t seem to miss that hour on the clock face, whereas changing the clock right before bed was literally exhausing.

Thus, a couple of weeks ago, I thought, why don’t I get going on it now?  Last week, I moved my alarm clock in the bedroom ahead 15 minutes.  See, I have to have a clock near me when I’m sleeping.  I’m weird like that but when I wake up at night, the first thing I do is reach for the clock.  I know, I know, all the advice says you shouldn’t do that, but I know me.  NOT having the clock would cause more angst worrying about what time it was than a quick glance and back to dozing.  I use a small travel alarm clock with a button for the light and I keep it under my pillow.  Like I said, weird.  But now, when I glance at the clock, I’m looking at a revised time (and trying not to focus on that).  Sometimes it works.

Anyway, now the time says the same thing when the alarm goes off but it’s actually earlier.  This week, I’ll move it ahead another 15 minutes, and so on.  By the time the actual deed has to be done, my clock will already be there and hopefully, my body will be adjusting, too.  Which means I’m not going to be sleeping in much on days off.  Well, I did this morning, but today is my Saturday, so I’m entitled, right?  Obviously, I’m not changing the other clocks in the house, but this is just a trick to get my brain adjusted to being up and thinking it’s 6 am when it’s really 5:45, then 5:30, then 5:15, then 5:00.  Just like DST, only in increments.

Last year, some wise person put a bill in the Colorado State House to be like Arizona and not change the time at all.  If I remember right, it actually came to a vote on one of the ballots.  I absolutely voted for it, but sadly, it didn’t pass.  Maybe next time.  Until then, I’m going to keep on fooling myself, at least for the next three weeks.

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3 thoughts on “Fooling Myself

  1. I like to start getting up earlier in increments over the two weeks or so just before DST starts. I find it works much better for me than suddenly having to get up an hour earlier. I don’t change the time on the clock, I just set the alarm earlier by ten minutes every few days.

  2. I hate DST, too. Loved it when we lived in N. Arizona and didn’t have to bother with all that. Of course, then you are never sure what time it is elsewhere but so what.

    The one thing that has helped me the most, and it could help you too, is the dawn simulator light/alarm clock. It gradually brightens over a half hour and even though I wake up well before the time I need to be out of bed, it feels much healthier. It really helps with the Seasonal Affective Disorder that so many of us suffer with here in the PNW.

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