The first evening after daylight saving time returns at the start of spring is a little like when you come out of an optometrist's office with a new pair of glasses, seeing everything in clear-eyed wonder, as if for the first time.

I didn’t know what I was missing — there’s life after 6 p.m.!

Sunlight!

Joy!

Hope!

On the opposite end of this emotional continuum is the end of daylight saving time — a cruel trick to our circadian rhythm that renders us bummed and groggy each fall.

Hello darkness, my old friend.

We found ourselves pondering such melancholy on Monday night, when what had been for weeks a twilight commute was plunged into darkness.

The ritual continues.

We just don’t get it.

As we have stated before in this space, why do we endure this man-made irritant, a holdover from temporary fuel-saving efforts during World War I (which is marking its 100th anniversary this year). Why do we do this to ourselves?

The changeover to and from daylight saving time is bad for our sleep cycle and morale. It means kids wait for buses and have after-school activities in the dark. And don’t get us started us on the clocks. 

Adjusting all the clocks in the house, office and your vehicle is borderline ridiculous. 

(And yeah, it’s technically daylight “saving” time, not “savings,” another reason the whole thing is silly.)

Granted, these are decidedly minor inconveniences in the grand three-ring circus that is the human experience. We should be so lucky to be complaining about a dreaded extra hour of sleep — or, worse, the loss of an hour each spring. The humanity!

But that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. Impractical. It’s also unpopular,  as history shows.

In fact, daylight saving time actually fell out favor after World War II and some communities dumped it entirely. That caused a bunch of confusion, so the Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966 to get everyone on the same page.

Not that everyone did. The legislation had an opt-out clause, and today American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and most of Arizona don't follow the rule that the rest of us do.

Last year, 13 states considered bills related to daylight saving time, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures, which tracks such things.

And in 2015, Central Illinois state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, introduced legislation to make daylight saving time the standard year-round, although it fizzled. (This editorial board supported the plan.)

Mitchell now is retiring, which begs the question: Who will take up the daylight saving time mantle in Springfield?

We need an answer: Our collective circadian rhythm is counting on it. 

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