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Daylight Savings Dread

“Only the government would believe you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

This Native American chief phrased this a lot more eloquently than I would right now, as my sleep-deprived summation of Daylight Saving Time would include far more four-letter words strung together in a few angry outbursts. This antiquated practice has me currently running at about 60%, even with the help of our faithful office coffee machine. So it is from my post as your resident PR blogger that I am trumpeting the termination of this outdated system of ‘tricking the clocks.’

This bi-annual abomination began wreaking havoc on our collective circadian rhythms sporadically in the late 1800’s, and was permanently incorporated into American life during the energy crisis of the 1970’s (save for you lucky folks in Arizona and Hawaii.) Initially instilled to conserve coal stockpiles during World War II, and later to cut down on in-home electricity usage, a vastly altered socio-economic landscape has proven that Daylight Saving Time has officially overstayed its welcome.

A Yahoo story reported this morning that the United States lost a whopping $433,982,548 because of Sunday’s time-switch, a number that is certainly confounding when you take into account that DST was enacted to save energy, and therefore – money. Factor in that sluggish, somnolent feeling we all endured yesterday (and I continue to experience) and, well, it just doesn’t make much sense.

It’s no secret that the U.S. economy is recovering at a glacial pace, and depriving companies of an extra hour to conduct business has proven extremely costly. Nearly $450 million in lost profits is inexcusable, and completely offsets any inherent ‘benefit’ to energy savings with our extra bit of sunlight in the evening.

Another more difficult metric to measure, is the loss of (or the perceived loss of) productivity that arises with an hour of less sleep. Exhausted employees may complete less work, or finish their workloads to a lesser degree than normal. This acts as a hindrance to long term goals, accurate work and overall morale. In order for the business sector to run effectively, it needs to be stocked with well-rested, energetic employees.

Some anti-daylight savings dominoes need to begin falling, because I am completely beat. We are no longer a country that requires this method of regulating the hours, and continuing to do so is only robbing our businesses, national and local, and leaving a workforce full of zombies for a week.

-Carter Breazeale

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