Get ready to spring forward — whether you like it or not

Spring forward, fall back is a useful mnemonic device for the much-maligned and occasionally baffling daylight saving time that robs us of one hour of sleep when clocks are advanced this Sunday morning.

"I like the one where you gain an hour, but when you lose an hour, it's hard," said Emma Rheault, a 17-year-old Medford resident. "Both are kind of confusing."

Every year, daylight saving time haters come out in force, vowing to get rid of this disruptive change that leads to endless grumbling for days after.

This year, a poll conducted by PEMCO Insurance in Washington and Oregon found 54 percent surveyed said it takes two or more days to adjust to the new time, while 21 percent thinks it takes five or more days.

Oregonians in particular find the time change difficult.

According to the poll, 21 percent of us say it takes a week or more to recover.

The poll seems to have a fondness for 21 percent, because that is also the percentage of Oregonians and Washingtonians who don't seem to want to change daylight saving time. However, most surveyed — 63 percent — think we should get rid of the whole time-change thing.

Most states observe the clock change ritual, with the exception of Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In Arizona, the Navajo do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands.

PEMCO suggests taking cat naps of no more than 20 minutes, though it didn't mention whether they should be taken at work. Speaking of work, the company suggests being extra vigilant on your drive to the office, because some studies suggest accident rates go up around daylight saving time.

If accidents aren't bad enough for your health, other studies indicated an increase in heart attacks brought on by the added stress of losing sleep.

But some thing there's a worthwhile tradeoff involved.

John Pierce, a 73-year-old Medford resident said, "I think it's great. It gives you longer days."

His friend, Cary Stauffer, a 64-year-old Medford resident, said, "In summer, it gives you time to do a lot more projects outside."

Both men thought the world was too used to daylight saving time to change it now.

But Stauffer said, "Florida is looking at having the same time year-round."

The Florida Legislature this week overwhelming voted for the "Sunshine Protection Act" that seeks to get rid of daylight saving time. The bill will go to Gov. Rick Scott's desk but will ultimately have to be approved by Congress.

In 2008, a U.S. Department of Energy study found daylight saving time shaves off only three-tenths of a percent of annual energy consumption. In the same year, the University of California at Santa Barbara reported it might even increase energy consumption.

— Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

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