It’s that time of year again when many Canadians will be setting their clocks back as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end this weekend.
Come Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. local time, clocks will fall back an hour, giving many a much-needed extra hour of sleep.
(The ending of daylight time takes place on the first weekend of November. Daylight time then starts up again on the second weekend in March.)
This change marks the beginning of the winter season, which means mornings will be bright an hour earlier and darkness will set in earlier in the evening.
According to the National Research Council, daylight time is usually regulated by provincial and territorial governments. Some exceptions may exist in certain municipalities.
Because of this, some parts of Canada do not follow the time change. These include Saskatchewan, as well as some part of Quebec, Ontario and B.C.
Some of these locations include:
- Peace River Regional District, B.C.
- Fort Nelson, B.C.
- Creston, B.C.
- Pickle Lake, ON
- New Osnaburgh, ON
- Atikokan, ON
- Quebec’s north shore
Having that extra hour of sleep, however, has the potential to impact your health.
One 2016 study published in the journal Epidemiology found that diagnoses of depression tend to rise during the transition period from daylight time to standard time.
Based on data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register from 1995 to 2012, researchers identified an eight per cent increase in cases at psychiatric hospitals than in the days preceding the time change.
The daylight time transition has also been found to possibly increase the risk of strokes, the American Academy of Neurology reports.
Whether it’s turning the clock ahead or back one hour, the transitional period of daylight time was tied to an increased risk of ischemic stroke (the most common kind of stroke). Researchers speculate that the disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm, also known as an internal body clock, may be the cause.
It’s also found that the shift in time change impacts the number of accidents. According to an analysis of 10 years of Toronto pedestrian accident data by Global News, nine more pedestrians are hurt or killed in Toronto in the week after the fall time change.
While daylight time was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, it wasn’t until 1908 when the first-known use of daylight time took place in Thunder Bay, Ont.
It was first introduced in Canada as a way to cut costs on coal and save money on energy. It was adopted across North America in 1918 but repealed after the Second World War.
Today over 70 countries and one-fifth of the world’s seven billion people take part in daylight time.
— With files from Carmen Chai, Patricia Kozicka, Patrick Cain