Let me just start by saying this is a joke – kind of. I have been a longstanding member of the group that wants to eradicate daylight saving time entirely, but as the years go on it seems like that might never happen. So, if we as a country plan on keeping this antiquated tradition around, we should at least make it a national holiday, right? One could make the argument that since the time shift happens in the middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday, that we should be all good by Monday, but be honest with yourself: if you’re reading this on Monday, how well did you sleep last night? If you’re like me, you did not sleep very well. Our wake/sleep cycle as humans is very fragile, so I think it is owed to us to get an extra day off to recuperate if we can’t agree to do away with daylight saving time entirely. Here’s my argument:
First, just a few not-so-fun facts about DST:
- The Monday after DST starts sees an increase in “cyberloafing”, or surfing the web during work hours.
- Many negative health events increase, including cluster headaches, depressive symptoms, strokes, and even heart attacks!
- Car accidents also significantly increase during the week after DST starts.
See?? It’s pretty clear that if DST is sticking around, we as a society need some extra time to adjust before returning to work. Plus, most US full-time workers don’t get a national holiday for 133 DAYS between MLK Jr Day and Memorial Day – that’s over 1/3 of the year (unless your organization observes Presidents Day, in which case it’s still 98 days). In an era where burnout is a regular struggle and our health is in constant jeopardy, I think it’s only fair that we get an extra day off.
If we were to allow DST to be a national holiday, there would be many potential benefits:
- Having more time to regulate our sleep cycle would improve our physical and mental health.
- DST typically coincides with spring break for public schools, so a national holiday would allow parents to stay at home with their kids without missing work or paying for childcare.
- The long weekend would allow employees to return to work more refreshed and energized, allowing for a more productive workweek.
Once again, I believe the true solution is to catch up to states like Hawaii and Arizona and get rid of daylight saving time altogether. But, unfortunately it seems like this regular time change is sticking around, so if you’re like me and struggling to stay awake on Monday morning, here are a few survival tips from Johnson and Johnson: