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

Sexual assault stories from treeplanting camps ‘shocking but not surprising’

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Angel Flights looking to spread its wings and service in East Kootenays

Angel Flights is a free service that takes patients from the East Kootenays to Kelowna

Kicking Horse conditions update, Thursday February 27

Kicking Horse reports 1 cm of new snow in the last 24… Continue reading

Golden highway update, Thursday February 27

DriveBC reports slippery sections between Beaverfoot Rd and Field, just east of… Continue reading

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Most Read