Daylight Saving Time

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Have you ever wondered why we spring ahead and fall behind in the year?  Do you ever wonder why we change our clocks?  The history of daylight savings time can be attributed to Benjamin Franklin who figured that we needed to set our clocks with the rising and setting of the sun.  He figured that we would save resources and money if we actually tried to adjust our waking and sleep cycles with the sun.  It wasn’t until the First World War that Germany decided to adopt daylight savings time to save on wartime resources (to save coal for lighting purposes). 

Canada followed suit in 1917 and the daylight saving act was enacted.  In the spring (the second Sunday in March), clocks spring ahead by one hour, and in the fall (first Sunday in November) clocks fall back.  So when you go to bed on these determined days then you either set your clock ahead an hour (in the spring for spring ahead), or set your clock behind an hour (in the fall for fall back). 

Although, not all places in Canada observe daylight savings time.  Saskatchewan, parts of the Peace River and Creston in the East Kootenays do not observe daylight savings time.

If you live in an area that does observe daylight savings time, what do you think of it?  Some people enjoy springing ahead as it gives another daylight hour to enjoy after coming out of the bleakness of winter.  However, some proponents to this argue that they will lose an hour of sleep.  What about the fall?  Do you like to fall back?  Those that like the extra hour of daylight would probably say no, while those that like to get an extra hour of sleep might say yes.

Have you ever noticed that when switching time that your sleeping patterns and routines get shaken up? If so, here are some suggestions to minimizing the effects of daylight saving time (DST).

  • To adjust your circadian rhythm, expose your body to sunlight early in the morning.

  • In order to make sure adequate Vitamin D synthesis in your skin, try to have sunlight exposure as much as possible.

  • While there is an extra hour of daylight, enjoy it!  Take the time to get outside and exercise or take part in a variety of activities that can be done.

  • Stay alert if you are trying to switch over your switching patterns (be careful when driving).

  • Adjust your sleeping schedule a few days in advance to get your body ready for the change

So, whether you enjoy daylight savings time or not, you may find yourself in a position to embrace the change, as it will be with us in Canada for some time! 

Remember the slogan, spring ahead and fall behind to ensure that you don’t set your clock the wrong way with daylight savings time.