Today in the US marks the end of Daylight Savings Time. This is also known as the day we turn the clocks back an hour, or “fall back.”
I skimmed passed a headline that asked,
What will you do with your extra hour?
Of course, this is all an illusion.
Clock Time Isn’t Real
The beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time are the best reminders that clock time is not real — it is a man-made invention.
In reality, there is no “extra” hour. Nothing has changed with respect to the Earth’s rotation around the sun.
Obviously, in a modern world, clock time helps us coordinate scheduling and meetings. That was its initial purpose. But when we buy into the myth that this is real, it can wreak havoc with our minds and bodies.
How would you go about your day if you didn’t have a clock; if you were guided only by the sun?
Many people noticed that their dogs seem to get annoyed when they feed their dogs “late.” That’s because dogs aren’t telling time by the clock. They’re relying on the sun. The dog listens to its body to know when it’s hungry and tired.
Humans used to do this too, before the clock dictated our way of life.
The Myth of the Lost Hour of Daylight
I read an article in which an expert was quoted as saying that “we’re losing a whole hour of daylight” with the clock change. This is false. From yesterday to day, the amount of daylight decreased by only 2 minutes and 14 seconds.
Although the hours of daylight are diminishing, it will take the course of the month for us to loose an hour. That loss is based on the shift in Earth’s angle to the sun; it has nothing to do with the time on the clock.
The biggest day to day difference from changing the clock is that sunrise and sunset both occurred an hour earlier.
If you were up with the sunrise, you experienced virtually the same amount of daylight as you did the day before.
And yet many people report feeling tired after the clock change.
Here’s a question:
Would we still feel as tired if we didn’t have the clocks? Or if we didn’t see the sun at all? Or both? Consider how people act in a casio, where they have neither clocks nor sun.
My theory is that we feel fatigue when we try to live by clock time instead of by solar time.
Follow the Sun, Not the Clock
Studies show the importance of getting outside and being in sunlight within the first 30 minutes of waking up. This sets our circadian rhythms — the body clock that controls many of our autonomic functions.
This is something I’ve done for years. It’s been the cornerstone of my morning rituals even before I knew the science behind it.
A consistent practice of waking with the sun and getting out early helps me better acclimate to the day. When I do this, I also feel better throughout the day.
As much as I dislike seeing the sunset before 5 pm, I appreciated waking up to the light at 6:30 am, after weeks of waking up to darkness.
Obviously in a world where we have meetings and schedules we need to reference the clock, but it’s also important to remember that our inner rhythms don’t care about the clock.
Our bodies are wired to respond to the sun. So let the sun be your guide. And in these days of waning daylight, wake up with the sun to get all the daylight you can.
clock time isn’t real
the sun is a better guide
to set your rhythm