B.C. Premier John Horgan and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver (right) hold meetings in Whitehorse, Sept. 30, 2019, where they agreed to coordinate a shift to daylight time with western U.S. states. (B.C. government)

Standard time better for public health, B.C. researchers say

B.C., Yukon wait for U.S. states to make daylight time permanent

As B.C. formally gets in line to join the west coast of North America in choosing to switch to year-round daylight time, unversity researchers are telling the provincial government it’s the wrong way to go.

Medical, psychological and sleep researchers at Simon Fraser University and University of B.C. say year-round standard time is better than daylight time, the experts said in an open letter to the B.C. government Thursday. They warn that staying on daylight time in winter reduces morning light, which has negative health and safety effects for children and adults.

“If daylight saving time is kept year-round, sunrise would be later in the winter, leading to decreased exposure to morning sunlight,” the researchers say, adding that experts in biological rhythms and sleep “unanimously agree” that standard time year-round is better.

“Our body’s internal biological clock needs exposure to morning light,” the letter emphasizes. “When exposure to sunlight in the morning is reduced, our biological clock drifts later, making it harder to wake up and causing an increased mismatch between the body clock and local time (a condition known as social jet lag).”

B.C. Attorney General David Eby introduced legislation Thursday to adopt daylight time permanently, but he and Premier John Horgan have repeatedly said they will not move ahead without Washington, Oregon and California to maintain economic and social ties. Yukon Premier Sandy Silver agreed to support the move at a meeting with Horgan in late September.

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

RELATED: Turn you clocks back at bedtime Saturday night

The annual “fall back” to standard time goes ahead as usual this Sunday, and next spring’s “spring forward” will also go ahead on March 8, 2020.

Premier John Horgan said Thursday that B.C.’s legislation allows the province to go either way, and the overwhelming public opinion is that they want to stop changing their clocks twice a year. The Peace River region already uses daylight time year-round, putting the northeast on B.C. time in summer and Alberta time in winter. Parts of the Kootenay region use mountain time, synchronizing with Alberta all year round.

The letter is signed by Simon Fraser University sleep researcher Myriam Juda; Najib Ayas, an associate professor of medicine at the UBC’s sleep disorders program; Judy Village, adjunct professor of UBC’s school of population and public health; Raymond Lam, a psychiatry professor and depression researcher at UBC; and Ralph Mistlberger, director of the sleep and circadian neuroscience lab at SFU.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

Local politicians call on Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to limit licenses

Bunkowski’s busted out of the boredom during self isolation

After 14 days Prince Rupert family finally finds freedom

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read