Courtesy photo

EDITORIAL: Time to re-evaluate Daylight Savings Time

There are effects to switching our clocks twice a year

Once again, British Columbians spent part of the weekend resetting clocks as Daylight Saving Time came to an end and Standard Time resumed.

Daylight Savings Time has been in place for more than a century, but some are wondering if it is time to abandon the twice-yearly time change.

In spring, when Daylight Savings Time takes effect, the change results in people feeling more tired for the first few days following the change. In fall, when we return to Standard Time, darkness comes earlier, leaving many without enough evening light to enjoy outdoor activities.

RELATED: B.C. set to change law to stick with daylight saving time

RELATED: Does the time change mess you up? Here’s how you can cope

While long summer evenings are appreciated, the time change also has negative effects.

There is a period of adjustment each time the clocks change. Waking up is easier in the first days after the fall time change, but falling asleep at night is more difficult. Other schedules, including mealtimes, are also disrupted.

The physical effects of the time change are most noticeable for those who are already functioning on limited amounts of sleep.

There have been some studies showing an increase in fatal vehicle accidents in the week following the spring time change.

Daylight Savings Time has been promoted as a way to decrease energy consumption, by reducing the need for artificial lighting. However, this claim has been disputed by some, and the data is far from conclusive on whether time changes affect electricity use.

Most areas in Canada use Daylight Savings Time, with the exception of Saskatchewan, the Yukon Territory and parts of British Columbia, Nunavut and Quebec.

The United States and Mexico continue to use Daylight Savings Time, as do most European countries and a few other parts of the world.

However, many countries, particularly in Asia, South America and parts of Africa, have now abandoned Daylight Savings Time.

British Columbia has also talked of abandoning Daylight Savings Time, but this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the the issue of time changes a lower priority than in the past.

Is it finally time for us to follow this trend and keep our clocks consistent throughout the year?

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