Daylight Savings and Creativity

Here in the USA we’ve made it through another night of reduced sleep (the UK has another two weeks before they’re forced to sacrifice an hour’s slumber.) You’d think an hour’s loss of sleep wouldn’t make that much of a difference, so why do we all feel so tired for so long after Daylight Savings starts?

Numerous studies have linked the loss of this one hour to various health issues (the number of heart attacks on the Monday after Daylight Savings increases by 25 per cent, depression goes up, and, for children, SAT scores drop dramatically!)

The problem is that the loss of this hour messes with our circadian rhythms, the 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of all living things. While we, as humans, think we can manipulate time and nature, we actually can’t, and studies have proven that we never fully adjust to the hour forward throughout the entirety of the daylight savings period, up until the clocks go back in the autumn.

On the bright side (pun intended) it does mean longer days, balmy evenings of daylight, and warm summer months. As a writer, this means far less than it probably should. Like many authors, I’m at my most creative in the twilight hours. It doesn’t matter if it’s light or dark outside, my inner clock doesn’t change just because tradition says we need to switch the time on our social clocks.

My numerous pets won’t change their sleeping or eating habits either. They work solely on their circadian rhythm. They’ll wake at the same time, be hungry at the same time, and want to sleep at the same time; it’ll just be our physical clocks that say they’re doing everything an hour later.

So to every writer, musician, author, painter, and generally anyone who feels their creativity takes a knock over the summer months, you’re not imagining it, but it’s only six months till we’re back to where nature wants us to be!

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