Monday Opinion: Daylight Crazy Time

Steve walked in at 7:17 this morning, and asked how long I had been up.  Since four am-just like him.  Turning the clock back one hour seems simple enough.  What I once did at 10 am I can just as a easily do at 9-right?  Not exactly.  Getting up at 5 am is routine for me; getting up at 4 am is nuts.  Having lunch at noon seems perfectly ordinary; lunch at 11 am-not so appetizing.  Milo and Howard have dinner at 3:30 every day.  I explained to Milo that the new 3:30 comes an hour later now.  From the look on his face, I am sure he doesn’t get it.  A cocktail at 6pm sounds good; a cocktail at 5 pm-is that pushing it?  Going home from work at 6pm seems fine-going home at 7 seems late.  What time is it, really?  My Circadian clock-biological clock-is not happy with the change-even one hour’s worth of change.  I feel robbed- like I am having to live 24 hours in a 23 hour period.  

I may be sounding like a very fussy baby here, but an hour makes a difference.  If I wake up an hour late, I never catch up all day.  If I wake up an hour early, I peter out more than an hour early.  If I am not on time for an appointment with you, I am not coming.  I have either forgotten, or written the appointment down on the wrong day.  For me, part of being good is being on time.  I do not like going to the movies-they require too many hours in one spot.  I like reading-I can pick the the time and duration.   

Day length can make a big difference- just ask any plant.  They have photoreceptor proteins that make it possible for them to respond to day length.  Some plants like pointsettias need long nights and short days to initiate flowering.  Even a small interruption to their dark sleep can result in a failure to bloom.  Amaryllis have a similar temperament.  The long day short night plants are just as specific in their light requirements-as in dianthus, and campanula.  Day neutral plants-like roses and tomatoes-initiate flowering without regard to day or night length.  Photoperiodism not only influences flowering, but it also affects the growth of stems and roots, and the loss of leaves. Any living organism is specific about what it needs to prosper.  I am sure my biological clock will adjust to the time change eventually, but I will not be blooming any time soon.

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