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Prepare to spring forward into Daylight Saving Time; just don’t put paycheck in the garbage

Rest up. Once again, we have arrived at that point in early spring where we perform that slight of the clock hands which robs us of an hour of sleep to gain an hour of evening daylight.

Daylight Savings Time is upon us.

Synchronize your watches and prepare to spring those clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday March 10.

From 1986 to 2007, DST kicked off on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday of October. But the begin date was moved up and the end date pushed back under the Bush administration to give us an extra month of sunny evenings.

This annual turn of the dial makes it seem like the sun is appearing an hour later in the morning when most people are asleep anyway and stretches daylight later into the evening.

Benjamin Franklin first suggested the move in 1784, but it wasn’t until 1916, during World War I, that several European countries embraced the idea that they originally had rejected.

The idea was originally intended to save energy, burning fewer lightbulb hours and give workers more daylight in which to toil. But Daylight Savings Time earns both praise and criticism in practice.

A survey conducted last month by the Better Sleep Council revealed what many already knew: the transition is rough for many.

Some 74 percent of workers over age 30 said they don’t get enough sleep heading into the first Monday after the clocks are turned and say sleepiness affects their work.

About 4 percent reported getting into traffic accidents due to lack of sleep.

How wrong did their days go after they lost that hour? According to the sleep council’s report, folks said they threw away valuable items and failed tests.

“Some of the more peculiar responses included: Got in shower with underwear on; Thought about the unthinkable; Put soap in the baby bottle; Went to the ATM to order food; Stepped on a cat; Walked into wrong bathroom; Told off-color jokes; Made the coffee wrong; Wore slippers outside; Put clothes on inside-out; Put paycheck in garbage.”

On the up side, it gives children and adults more time to play after work and school.

Many studies disagree about whether we realize the goal of energy savings.

The Better Sleep Council says you can prepare your body and ease into the change, going to sleep 15 minutes earlier each night before Sunday.

Take solace that the clock will fall back again come Nov. 3.

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