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I’m a Firm Believer That Noone Should have to Get Up in the Dark

     I finally got a job where I can get up with the sun. I’m a night person and a firm believer no one should get up in the dark unless they have a plane to catch. Seems to me when the sun comes out or some reasonable time after, that’s the sign that the body should get moving.

     So what’s with this Daylight Savings Time jump-ahead stuff every spring? Just when you’re getting used to Standard Time, you gotta get un-used to it.

     Moving the clocks ahead is a pain, agreed. Every gadget we own these days has a clock attached or hidden somewhere inside it and they aren’t so easy to re-set, especially if you forgot to memorize page six of the manual. The only smart ones are cell phones. They sneak up an hour when you’re not looking. Some day I’m going to stay up ’til two a.m. and watch it do that.

     Yep, moving the clocks ahead is a pain. But moving your inner body clock ahead? Adjusting your circadian rhythm? Impossible! My circadian thing was doing just fine until the second day after Daylight Savings Time went into effect. The first day was Sunday. No problem. I slept in an hour later and still got to church on time. But Monday morning… Hey, Monday mornings are tough enough as it is.

     Normally – normally being Standard Time - I wake up when the sun comes up, around six a.m. The hour after that is the most productive of my entire day. I lie there with great gratitude that I don’t have to get up yet. Snuggled firmly in the covers, the pillow caressing my head, I contemplate the day ahead or the day behind or nothing at all.

     Ideas pop up and insert themselves into my brain. What to do about the new hire who didn’t show up. When I’ll have time to plant the pansies waiting outside in their six-pack. Oh! Don’t forget Lori’s birthday. Hey… that’s how I can translate that file!

     By seven o’clock I’m ready to jump out of bed and go for it. I roll over, convince myself that duty calls and haul myself out of the covers.

     Now that we’ve lost our early morning hour, the sun comes up, I wake up and it’s ten past seven already. I jump out of bed ten minutes late with not even one minute to lie in bed and contemplate what the scale will say when I hop on it or how many lottery tickets to buy this week.

     I never tell anyone how tough it is because everyone’s so excited to have it stay light longer in the evenings. Me, I don’t mind darkness in the evening. I don’t have to get up in the evening.

     It’s been a week now. My circadian rhythm is not about to adapt to the new seven-used-to-be-six in the morning. I’ve tried to locate the hands of my inner clock, but no luck and unfortunately, there’s no instruction manual.

     Turns out I’m not alone after all. This afternoon I was quite surprised to hear my boss say this was the first day this week that she didn’t have dark circles under her eyes from getting up an hour early. And then Ray spoke up to say he was having a hard time adjusting, too.

     Well now I know why. I studied up on this whole circadian rhythm/inner clock thing and thanks to Google, I learned from an article at the MCW HealthLink website that our inner clock is “a pair of pinhead-sized brain structures that… contain about 20,000 neurons” and that it’s located in the hypothalamus, “just above the point where the optic nerves cross.”

     Can you imagine how long it would take to re-set a pair of pinhead-sized clocks with 20,000 hands? At least I know where to find it…

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