Thursday, March 6, 2014

Daylight Savings Time - "Spring Forward" to Brighter Days!

How does Daylight Savings Time affect you? At 2am on Sunday March 9, 2014 in the United States we will "Spring Forward" and move our clocks ahead one hour meaning we "lose" an hour of sleep this Sunday and we will "Fall Back" an hour at 2am on Sunday, November 2nd gaining an hour. If your "biological clock" is like mine, you'll be awake anyway making your coffee with some excitement knowing that you have an "EXTRA" hour to yourself while the rest of the people in your house take that extra hour to keep sleeping. We have plenty of time to sleep when we're dead...get up you lazy bones!!!
      For those of us in Eastern Standard Time Zone, specifically in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area, we have just started to see the sun rise at 6:20am, which probably explains why I've been waking up by 6:25am even though my alarm has been set to wake me at 6:38am. It will be interesting to see if that still happens next week since it will be dark again until 7:20am. The first photo of the clock (taken by NYC Photographer Dez Santana) is next to the Flatiron Building in Manhattan.
     Sunset for us here is currently at 5:52pm which means that people who work until 6pm or later do not see sunlight when they leave their jobs. Starting next week those same people (including me) will get to leave work and see the sun shining for almost an hour. What a difference that makes in a person's level of energy!
Some people actually suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) which usually starts in the Fall and lasts through the winter. This is from lack of sunlight and causes depression in varying degrees in each person affected. There are also people who suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder during summer months, although I can't imagine why! Go to #Wikipedia or do a #Google search to find out more about #SeasonalAffectDisorder if you think you are suffering from it. The 2nd photo (taken by NYC Photographer Dez Santana) is "The Clock In The Sidewalk" in Lower Manhattan built in 1896.
     Not all countries around the world acknowledge "Daylight Savings Time" making International traveling even more complicated than the already-confusing time change that occurs. I do not follow the New York Stock Exchange but it occurred to me that this inconsistent time change around the world could potentially affect the Stock Market and apparently there have been many studies on this exact topic. One study showed that average stock market returns on Mondays following time changes are economically and statistically significantly lower than typical Monday returns. It was hypothesized that the effect may arise due to heightened anxiety or risk aversion on the part of market participants after they experience a 1-hr. disruption in their sleep habits, in accordance with prior findings in the psychology literature linking sleep desynchronosis with anxiety.
(Psychological Reports,2010, 107, 3, 1-11. © Psychological Reports 2010 DOI 10.2466/03.07.PR0.107.6.ISSN 0033-2941 "EFFECTS OF DAYLIGHT-SAVING TIME CHANGES ON STOCK MARKET VOLATILITY: A COMMENT"). The third photo taken by NYC Photographer Dez Santana is of the New York Stock Exchange.

           I like to use these little disruptions, time changes, an excuse or reminder to change some things in my life and I don't just mean the batteries in my smoke detectors, which I hope everyone takes the time to do this weekend! Having a little more light at the end of the day might inspire me to do more things I need to do after work, such as taking my dog for a longer walk, or sitting up to write my blog. As soon as the temperature starts getting close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, I will look forward to going outside to jog around town rather than doing it on the treadmill at the gym.
     I've included a map that shows which countries use the Daylight Savings Time and the dates it starts and ends for those countries. This might explain why I seem to always call my son in Germany at the wrong time, never seeming to calculate what time it is by him. I've included a photo I took this past September of the Astronomical Clock (over 600 years old!), Clock Tower in the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic while on my trip to Germany to see my son. Time change or not, I still had Jet Lag for the first 24 hours.

   I love to hear about other people's cultures and  stories from around the world so please follow my blogs and comment at the end of this one if you'd like to share how "Daylight Savings Time" affects you, or even if you don't have it in your country.
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