Canadians gear up for annual ritual of adjusting their clocks!

Written by  Prerit Chauhan   |  March 19th 2024 11:43 AM  |  Updated: March 19th 2024 11:43 AM

Canadians gear up for annual ritual of adjusting their clocks!

PTC Web Desk: As spring approaches, Canadians are gearing up for the annual ritual of adjusting their clocks for Daylight Saving Time (DST). Scheduled to begin on Sunday, March 10, at 2 am local time, this time shift, often referred to as "springing ahead," involves setting clocks forward by one hour. This adjustment, occurring just nine days before the official start of spring on March 19, is a practice observed in many regions across the country. However, not all municipalities choose to participate, with some opting out of the time-changing tradition.

Daylight time typically commences on the second Sunday of March each year in Canada. However, the decision to observe this time shift lies in the hands of individual municipalities. Notably, Yukon, most of Saskatchewan, and parts of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia adhere to standard time throughout the entire year.

The concept of Daylight Saving Time has a historical backdrop with conflicting accounts of its origin. While reports suggest that the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay), were the first to adjust their clocks on July 1, 1908, to maximise sunlight, other sources credit Germany as the first country to adopt DST on April 30, 1916. Some historical narratives even attribute the idea to a New Zealand entomologist who proposed a two-hour shift in 1895 to extend daylight hours after the workday during the summer.

As Canadians prepare to lose an hour of sleep on March 10, Dr Mark Boulos, a sleep researcher and neurologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, emphasises the importance of optimising sleep before the time shift. Adults are recommended to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. For individuals with underlying sleep disorders, consulting with a family doctor is advised, with the possibility of referral to a sleep specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

Dr Boulos highlights the various impacts of insufficient sleep on brain function, immune systems, wakefulness, memory, mood, and overall functioning. Even the loss of just one hour of sleep during the time change can have consequences, particularly for individuals with underlying health issues such as sleep disorders. The heightened risk of car accidents, vascular events like strokes and heart attacks, underscores the importance of addressing sleep-related concerns.

To mitigate the effects of sleep deprivation, Dr Boulos suggests incorporating good sleep hygiene practices:

Avoiding daytime napping: This can help ensure better sleep quality at night.Avoiding eating and drinking before bedtime: This minimises disruptions like the need to use the washroom.Exercising in the morning: Morning exercise contributes to better sleep quality.Engaging in relaxing activities: Reading, meditation, and warm baths can promote restful sleep.Maintaining consistent sleep patterns: Regular wake times and bedtimes contribute to overall sleep health.


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