Ocean City Today

Myth of extra sleep exposed

By Stewart Dobson | Nov 02, 2017



printed 11/03/2017


Standard time, daylight saving time, Greenwich Mean Time, Universal Time Coordinated and still, as the YellaWood commercial goes, “the sun comes up and the sun goes down, work awaaaaay, work away.”

Except, it doesn’t work that way, or waaaaay, depending on your level of frustration with our especially annoying time standards, which many people believe can actually obligate the sun to function according to our schedules.

(Science hint: the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth).

(Second science hint: the earth, rather arrogantly, has chosen to circle the sun at its own speed, instead of following our distinct orders. In fact, I think a congressional hearing is being considered to determine whose fault this is).

Nevertheless, in a couple of days, we’re going to hear the usual “Ooooooo, I’ll get an extra hour’s sleep this Sunday morning because we’re falling back to standard time.”

Yes, and I’ll grow a third eye and have to buy all new glasses.

(Third science hint: every day is 24 hours and some milliseconds long. Should that suddenly change to 25 hours, as our clocks indicate on the first Sunday of November, we’ll be getting extra sleep alright, we’ll be kissing our sunny rear-ends goodbye.)

While it is true that we’ll have a pair of two o’clocks on Sunday morning, since 2 a.m. will become 1 a.m., certain forces of nature will determine how much sleep we will actually get.

For instance, there is the most compelling tick-tockery of the early morning hours, Bladder Standard Time.

For those yet to experience the ups and downs of this phenomenon, BST is the drill sergeant of sleepy time.

“When I say ‘jump’...”

More severe, however, is BDBST, or Beer Drinking Bladder Time, which requires a high degree of spontaneity if you know what’s good for you and your loved ones, and the once-a-year worst, STCRBDBST, Standard Time Clock Resetting Beer Drinking Bladder Standard Time.

Why is this so bad?

Two reasons: one, you’ll lose an hour of sleep because you’re awake in a bar spending that extra hour the Time Lords gave you; two, if the clocks are turned back an hour at 2 a.m., you get not one, but two last calls at your local tavern, so you’re topped off, as it were, when you hit the rack.

Meanwhile, the sun will continue to rise and set according to the earth’s own selfish schedule, and we will continue to pretend it doesn’t.

Incidentally, this time next week, I won’t be getting up at 4 a.m. but at 3 a.m., courtesy of what scientists call our “circadian rhythms,” or internal clocks that govern our sleep/wake cycles.

I suppose, for many people of a certain age, you could also call these the wee hours.

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