For Merrianne Door, daylight saving time is a big chore twice a year.
"With some 300ish clocks, it's a lot," she said.
Alongside her husband, she has helped run JD's Time Center in Kennewick for nearly 33 years. Hundreds of clocks line the walls, each chiming within minutes of each other at the strike of noon.
"I almost don't even hear it unless I'm thinking about it," she laughs.
Started in Europe during the World Wars, daylight saving time aimed to preserve energy and resources.
In addition to the hassle of adjusting the many clocks and watches inside her shop, Door argued the practice is outdated.
“I wish we would either eliminate it or keep it all the time, instead of the constant change.”
According to the CNN Wire, a recent study in Finland found the overall rate for stroke was 8-percent higher in the two days after daylight saving time. Cancer victims were 25-percent more likely to have a stroke during that time, and people older than 65 were 20-percent more likely to have a stroke.
In separate research, heart attacks were also recorded at a 10 to 25-percent higher rate, although not conclusively linked to the time shift.
Also on the list, increased traffic accidents possibly linked to sleep deprivation.
“I don't really like it,” Kamiakin High School student Calob Rey agreed. “Because it's hard to adjust, can't really sleep in.”
Many residents out and about Monday spoke to KAPP-KVEW, several coming to the same conclusion: they like the extra daylight and don’t want to “fall back” later in the year.
“I like that extra hour to go bicycling in the evening,” David Baldwin of Kennewick said.
Dr. Nelson Yu is a sleep specialist with Trios Health in Kennewick. He helps people assess bad sleep habits and learn to naturally sleep well. According to Dr. Yu, most people should be able to adjust to daylight saving in about day, but for many, inconsistency makes the shift tough.
“Part of sleep hygiene is to have a regular schedule for wake and sleep,” Dr. Yu said. “It's easier to get up in the morning, however, because the cue for us to wake up is the sunlight.”
However, to the brain, many modern day distractions get in the way. Smart phones, TVs, tablets and computers all emit tones similar to daylight, inhibiting production of sleep chemicals in the brain such as melatonin.
To help avoid this, most iPhones have a scheduling option in the brightness settings called the “night shift” mode, which adjusts the screen’s hue at bedtime.
Both Apple and Android devices can also access dimming apps or blue backdrops for more relaxed viewing.
Developing good sleep hygiene, according to Dr. Yu, is simple, but takes discipline.
“Anything that will increase your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, is probably not going to help your body wind down or go to sleep.”
Sleep experts provide the following tips:
- Most adults need seven to nine hours to function properly.
- Leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed.
- Turn off mobile devices before you head to bed. Blue light from screens can affect your ability to sleep.
- Make your room all about sleep: Use a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding, and keep your room dark.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Make deep breathing, stretches and other relaxing exercises part of your routine.
- Keep a piece of paper next to your bed to write down any worries before trying to get to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar seven hours before bed.
- Try working out in the morning, rather than in the evening after work.
“As long as I have daylight in the morning and daylight in the afternoon, I'm good,” Monica Woodrow of Kennewick said. “[But] I’d probably love to live where they don't change the times!”
For now the only states officially opted out of daylight saving time are Hawaii and Arizona.
In the meantime, Merrianne Door hopes movement can be made to help other states stay on a consistent time.
“We are messing everyone's clock up,” she said, finishing her thought with a laugh: “Just pick something and stick with it.”
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