We’ve all heard about jet lag, that messed up, disconcerted thing that happens to our bodies after flying across time zones. It’s been said that each time zone crossed equates to one day of recovery. For my constitution, that may be a bit generous. Though thinking back to when I frequently flew, I suspect that the more regularly one travels, the less the effect. Interestingly, flying west (“gaining” time) doesn’t faze me as much; but the return trip (“losing” time) really sets me back.
A similar disturbance happens to me each time we switch from “normal” time to daylight-savings time (DST) and visa versa. I call this phenomenon “time lag.”'Time Lag'—happens to me each time we switch from 'normal' time to daylight-savings time (DST) and visa versa. Click To Tweet
Just as in flying west, the fall DST switch causes a relatively minor disruption to my sleep equilibrium. However, the “spring forward” time change throws me off for several days, just as does a flight east that crosses several time zones.
When we lived in Wisconsin (which is on the eastern part of the Central time zone), DST made sense—it was an appropriate shift of the clock to better match the rising and setting of the sun.
However, Michigan is on the far western part of the Eastern Time Zone, and it’s never made sense. For the majority of the year, my reasonable 6 am rising is in the dark. On the summer solstice, dusk doesn’t occur until after 10:30 pm. And a scant two weeks later, we have to wait well after 11 pm just to watch fireworks. What nonsense!
I’d just as soon forget the whole daylight-savings time thing and lose the time lag along with it.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.