Don't forget to 'fall back' 1 hour on Sunday

·2 min read

It's the most wonderful time of the year for the sleep deprived with clocks set to turn back one hour on Sunday as daylight time ends, giving most an extra hour to lie in bed.

In the "spring forward" or "fall back" proposition of the clock change, the latter is easily everyone's preference, perhaps more so this year, with the adjustment coming in the wee hours after Halloween and under a full moon, no less.

Because unlike the sleep-robbing transition in spring, regaining that lost hour in the fall has no ill effects on humans.

"It's not associated with anything negative such as car traffic accidents or strokes or heart attacks," said SFU research psychologist Myriam Buda. "It's the transition in the springtime that is associated with all these consequences."

Thanks to an idea floated by Premier John Horgan, there's been a lot of talk in British Columbia about ditching the bi-annual clock change, in favour of permanent daylight time.

In fact, an online government survey last year garnered more public engagement than other more controversial topics, like cannabis regulation.

As a result, the province did introduce a legislative amendment to make the switch, but it won't come into effect until Washington, Oregon and California also cho0se to adopt the change, ensuring the entire Pacific region moves ahead with the idea in lockstep.

The Yukon has already switched to permanent daylight time.

Buda, an expert in the sleep-wake cycle of humans, says getting rid of the clock change is a great idea but thinks moving to permanent daylight time is a terrible one.

Science says standard time is best

"It's not just me," she said. "The scientific community unanimously agrees that standard time is what we should be going to and not daylight saving time."

According to Buda, the human body is just naturally more aligned to the light and rhythms of standard time, and she's not sure why the politicians aren't listening to the science.

"B.C. wants to be in the same time zone as other places and that's understandable from an economics perspective. But when it comes to our health and safety, we should all be on standard time — not just in B.C. but everywhere."

Daylight time was introduced in Canada in 1915 as part of the war effort to reduce coal consumption and extend daylight hours for factory work, according to the B.C. government.

If it is made permanent, mornings would be darker for longer in the winter — with sunrise happening as late as 9 a.m. in Vancouver or 9:30 a.m. in northern communities like Prince George.

At the same time, there would be more hours of daylight in the late afternoon and early evening.

Currently, most parts of B.C. turn their clocks forward an hour in March and then back an hour in November.