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Spring ahead!

Photographers love daylight.

After tonight, we will have EVEN MORE of it for awhile. Tonight is the night that many states in the United States, including California, “spring ahead” to Daylight Savings Time. Other countries of the world celebrate Daylight Savings Time, of course, but to add to the confusion (of our biological clocks), there is ALSO the confusion that different places “do” Daylight Savings Time differently, or not at ALL! :-)

I grew up in Ohio. At that time, the neighboring state of Indiana (with many “embattled farmers”) used to adjust clocks for Daylight Savings Time by COUNTY with the rationale being that “the cows know what time it is!” I believe that Arizona, where my Web site is hosted, does not “celebrate” Daylight Savings Time. My friend on the island of Maui in Hawaii said that they do not celebrate Daylight Savings Time.

Daylight Savings Time was expanded during the calendar year in the U.S. recently, as an attempt to save energy. I am delighted by the change, because, as I said, photographers love daylight. If I were to photograph in Yosemite without spending the night there, the extra daylight comes in handy, since Yosemite Valley is roughly 3.5 hours to the east of my home.

I mentioned the effect (minor in some folks, major in others) of Daylight Savings Time on our biological clocks. I saw this related article, about the number of hours of sleep Americans are getting, on the CNN pages. I once blogged about a Silicon Valley job I had in which I was at home three hours/day (during which I was awake) on weekdays. One hour went to supper and my company wanted me to spend the other two hours online working for THEM! :-) I used to get seven hours of sleep at night with that company, which was the American average in 2001. Unfortunately, I require 8-10 hours of sleep each night, which is also the number of hours usually cited as a requirement for human beings. The American average has declined to 6.7 hours this year, according to the CNN article.

One “expert” in the CNN article attributes Americans sleeping less to entertainment options that are available, and another denies that Americans are sleeping less. The expert in the CNN article whom I believe, however, is the one quoted near the end, who states that American society VALUES people who brag about being able to function on very little sleep. We think that such people are “successful” and “dynamic.” :-) I agree with the expert that folks trying to function on very little sleep are likely to make mistakes from sleep deprivation. Such mistakes can pose increasing problems when fewer remaining employees (after layoffs) try to do all of the remaining work.

The science on sleep deprivation has already been done. People, often intuitive-thinking-judging folks, who brag about functioning well on less sleep do not read the science and believe their inner voices :-) about such things, instead. What is described as “mind over matter” is merely “denial” of their own basic biology. I used to tell my son that, “The people who try to fool themselves are the biggest fools of all.”

So “Spring ahead!” tonight! Deal with the chaos of all the geographies who spring ahead differently, or not at all. :-)

And most of all, try to get a good night’s sleep….

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at

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