It's the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend, and I have a not-so-modest proposal to make the whole thing much better.
Most Americans love the idea of an extra hour of sleep (or exercising, or productivity, or sex) that we all get in the early morning hours Sunday, and we also love Daylight Saving Time during the summer. The extra hour of daylight when you can actually use it is wonderful.
However, this is the perfect opportunity to train a target on that other time-shifting weekend: The one that comes in April, when we "spring ahead" and begin Daylight Saving Time in the first place.
That one is pure evil.
The wrong time of day
The problem is the manner--and the time--when we actually lose the hour. We do so in the middle of the night, which deprives people of an hour of sleep and throws off their circadian rhythms, thus making Americans groggy and less productive.
So, I have a simple solution: instead of springing ahead at 2 a.m. and thus losing an hour of sleep on the weekend, why don't we turn the clocks ahead during the day, and during the week?
As I wrote some time ago on ScaryMommy.com:
I'm open to suggestions as to which hour, exactly. It probably shouldn't be right at the start or the end of the workday. I don't want to put us all in a situation where parents forget to turn the clock ahead at 4 p.m. and thus show up an hour late at day care, or ruin everyone's commute in the morning.
But to get us started, here are several ideas (a few from Scary Mommy, a few new ones):
Monday, 11 a.m.
Pros: Everyone needs a boost on Monday. People would be at work, singing the start-of-the-workweek blues, when we'd suddenly all fast-forward to lunch.
Cons: If you get off to a late start on this particular Monday, it'll be like pouring gasoline on the fire of unproductivity.
Tuesday, 2:44 p.m.
Pros: This time feels like it could become a national celebration, and even shorthand for communal joy. I envision a future Nobel prize-winning novel entitled, Tuesday, 2:44 p.m., and everyone would get the reference.
Cons: Maybe too close to the end of the school day--although kids would love it for that reason.
Wednesday, 1 p.m.
Pros: It's hump day to begin with. This time you might come back to work after lunch and find that your workday is an hour closer to being done than your body expects.
Cons: Wednesday might be the most productive day of the week normally. We probably shouldn't risk ruining the economy over this.
Thursday, 10 p.m.
Pros: This one is interesting. Ten p.m. would become 11 p.m. The jump ahead might encourage would-be night owls to go to bed, which might be healthier for them.
Cons: Not many. I guess late night television would suffer. This might be my favorite solution.
Friday, 4 p.m.
Pros: We all have weeks when we just can't wait for the weekend to arrive. This way, it actually would arrive sooner.
Cons: We're running straight into the potential problem of end-of-the-day confusion here, so we'd be counting on the media to make sure people are thinking about it all week. I'm pretty confident in their ability to create a little hype.
What do you think? Love Daylight Saving Time? Hate it? Let us know in the comments below--and weigh in on any ideas for a better time of day to make the shift.