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Body Clocks and other Biological Alarms

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Having recently had visiting teenagers, I was reminded of how late a person can sleep when they put their mind to it, particularly during that time of life before your body has been conditioned to wake up at a certain time of day. Well, give it a few years, sleepy teenager. My pesky body clock has prevented me from sleeping late for 20 years. No matter that it is a Saturday, or a holiday, or a vacation day. Whenever an opportunity avails itself when I can sleep in, the internal alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and there is nothing I can do about it. I suppose one might say I am “woke.”

There is no snooze on the body clock. Once it goes off, there is no denying it. To make matters worse, here we are in the spring when most of the U.S. changes the external clocks ahead one hour. That means months of tinkering with the internal clock, which will be fully acclimated about the same time that “fall back” occurs in November.

There is some value to the internal clock. It has kept me from being late to work on those occasions when my external clock has failed me. But that is of little comfort (no pun intended) on those other days when extra sleep feels like an unattainable dream.

Remarkably, the U.S. Senate has taken notice. The Senate, perhaps missing its beauty sleep during the recent changeover to DST, immediately went to work to end the biannual ritual. The House, however, said they want to sleep on it. For now, the topic appears to have been put to rest.

Another annoying internal alarm is triggered when I get hungry. The sounds emanating from my stomach are a cross between an angry tiger cub and a prop plane that is going down. If any state legislators have experienced this same problem and they follow true to form, we can expect some action on it during the next legislative session.

In keeping with laws like “Don’t Say Gay” and “Don’t Say Racism,” next to follow will surely be “Don’t Say Hungry.” Following a similar line of reasoning, the law could prohibit any mention of being hungry after 6am. The State Legislators believe that by the sixth hour of the day, a person should know whether or not they are hungry and are free to do something about it. After the sixth hour, however, no mention about being hungry will be allowed. That means no sign-holding at roadway intersections that advertise “will work for food.” And certainly, no stomach grumblings during late morning meetings.

This new law, and the logic it is based on, will fly in the face of nutrition experts who will say that a person may not even know they are hungry until the tenth or eleventh hour. Rest assured the legislators will ignore the experts and prefer to follow their own timetable for hunger awareness. To enforce the new law, any outward signs of hunger beyond 6am may be reported by Joe Citizen, who will be eligible for a $10,000 bounty. Hard to stomach, isn’t it?

I mainly have a hunger for sleep, a condition that is known as having a napitite.

The column represents the thoughts and opinions of Johnny McNally. Opinion columns are NOT the opinion of the Navasota Examiner. Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County and writes a bi-weekly column for the Navasota Examiner.