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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Running Without Rhythm....

Running Without Rhythm

Ever since daylight savings time started, my 24-hour biological clock has acted as if the main spring is broken. I just can't seem to wake up --- except at night, when I want to sleep, then I am wide-eyed and restless. If they don't quit messing with the time, my life is going to meltdown.

Just when it was beginning to be daylight during the morning commute to work, it is now dark again and we have to start all over. I know we are supposed to be saving energy, but it sure doesn't feel to me as if I'm saving any energy, at least not the kind I need.

This year I am reading about not only how much electricity we are saving, but also about how we are saving on the burning of fossil fuel, and, thereby, preventing global warming. It's nice to know that my insomnia is contributing to the welfare of mankind.

The theory used to be that during the winter people became depressed due to short days and lack of sufficient daylight. The cure was to get additional sunlight or even set in front of a sun lamp for 30 minutes per day to fool the brain. I don't know what ever happened to that theory, but it sounds more like a prescription for a tan than for depression.

Now they have added an additional month of this craziness called daylight savings time.

Nowadays, everything seems to have a clock, even the microwave. I'm trying to figure out why the microwave needs to know what time it is. My mechanical and electronic clocks are all wrong. By the time I set the clock radio, the kitchen clock, the stove timer, the microwave, the VCR, the coffee pot, the singing bird clock, the mantel clock, my wristwatch, and the clock in my car, it will be time to start turning them back again.

My home computer and cell phone are the only things smart enough to reset themselves. However, my outdated computer at the office still has the old time. I heard that Microsoft had a patch for newer model computers, but the old ones will be an hour late until April, unless reset manually. Wonder if that could be my problem; I'm just too old of a model to automatically

Anyhow, I think I've found the cure. Who needs a psychologist when we have Google? I looked it up on the net and found that the problem is that we not only need a certain amount of light each day, we also need a certain amount of darkness. If it isn't dark first, our internal clock does not reset.

Let me explain this theory. If we have a light on during the night, our biological clock thinks it is daytime. It keeps trying to reset and cannot. Therefore, when daytime really does come, we are exhausted from lack of rest and sleepy all day. For everything to work right, according to this theory, we need total darkness at night, no light, especially blue light, which resembles daylight. That includes not only florescent lights, but also late night television and computer screen.

I knew something had to be going on greater than the loss of one measly hour of sleep for me to feel so tired and out of synch. My brain has been staying awake and peeking around the corner into the living room watching the screen saver all night while I try to sleep.

Okay, okay, it is just a theory. Personally, I don't believe a word of it either.

I'm certain my circadian rhythm is going to reset itself and return to normal any day now. All I have to do is be patient - be patient and avoid naps, that is. I don't know why they call them "power naps."

I'm beginning to feel a bit drowsy now, and I think I will rest my head on the computer keyboard for a moment. Would the last person to read this column please turn out the lights?

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

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