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Iceland Time Is Bullshit – All Our Clocks Are Wrong

Iceland Time Is Bullshit – All Our Clocks Are Wrong

Elías Þórsson
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published October 26, 2017

“As it stands today, the time is 06:30 when we wake up at 07:00 if we look to the position of the Sun,” Dr Erna Sif Arnardóttir head of the Icelandic organisation for sleep studies told mbl.is. The organisation has for years campaigned for having the clocks in Iceland turned back one hour.

“Morning light is what matters when it comes to adjusting us to and keeping up with time,” she said. “If we lived in a cave and there was no sunlight, we’d start going increasingly later to bed and wake up later.”

This means that in the darkness of winter it gets substantially more difficult to wake up in the mornings. Ain’t that the truth.

Old nonsense

“A lot of people delay waking up for instance during the Christmas holidays and you could call that “clock tiredness”: to want to go later to bed and get up later on your days off. Icelanders get more clock tired than other nations and our clock is wrong,” Erna said.

She points that the decision that lead to our current time zone confusion was made decades ago, when people thought that circadian rhythm was some sort of Cicadidae mating dance. We also don’t have daylight savings, so there is that.

An hour is a long time in politics

In the lead up to the elections Erna and her colleagues asked all eleven of the parties running about their views on the proposal and seven out of eleven replied.

None of the parties quizzed on the matter were opposed to the proposal, but the Independence Party, Reform Party and the Progressive Party claimed to have not formed an opinion on the matter. Rather conveniently, the party that has been the biggest supporter of moving the clocks is Bright Future.

Be more like bears

We at the Grapevine think these clock ideas are in no way cuckoo, but we can’t help but feel they don’t go far enough.

The mighty grizzly bear hibernates for seven and a half months each year without eating, drinking, urinating, or defecating. We humans, not being bears, live lives filled with a lot more existential angst. While bears are famously Kantian and fundamental followers of the categorical imperative, we are more uncertain existentialists. Therefore, hibernating for the majority of our lives might help us align our understanding of life and morality further towards a more clear sense of meaning and purpose.


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