Canadians have been changing their clocks in the fall and summer for around 100 years. While Daylight Savings Time is supposed to save energy, there’s little evidence that this goal is actually achieved.
The current plan being discussed in the media for British Columbians, Yukoners, Californians, Oregonians, and Washingtonians is to fall back one more time (this fall) and then maintain Pacific Standard Time. While Canadian provinces are free to make their own decisions regarding Daylight Savings Time, it’s a federal matter in the US and states opting out require congressional
There have been numerous studies done on the effects of Daylight Savings Time; here are five negative side effects that you may be currently experiencing:
1. Dangerous or fatal for pedestrians. According to a study out of the US, you are three times more likely to be hit by a car than normal after the clocks spring forward. It explains that drivers’ brains don’t immediately adjust to the time change, and they don’t automatically drive more cautiously to account for the lower light conditions in the morning.
2. Never truly adjusting. Humans, like other animals, are seasonal creatures concerning birth rates and mortality. Another study found that Daylight Savings Time severely affects our seasonal timing and claims that our bodies never fully adjust to the hour change forward and back.
3. Melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies produce when the sun goes down that triggers getting sleepy. More daylight can make it harder to fall asleep at your normal time. Experts say a low-dose melatonin supplement can help “synchronize” your sleep clock.
4. Heart attack. Springing forward (losing an hour of sleep) can increase your risk of a heart attack. A CBC article from 2015 claimed a 10 percent higher risk for a heart attack in the 48 hours following the change. Falling back has the reverse effect and a 10 percent lower risk over the same
5. Foggy thinking. Losing an hour of sleep can have a big impact on our ability to think clearly. Research has shown that “springing forward” causes decreases in performance, concentration and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals.
These effects are greater on night owls, who can take up to three weeks to adjust to the time change, so be aware and take care as you adjust, especially when driving in the morning!
Tony Browton is an award-winning realtor who lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast. His weekly blog can be found at www.truebluerealty.ca/blog.