(Washington) Americans may have brought their watches for the last time. The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to permanently abandon winter time and make daylight saving time permanent. Can Canada follow suit?
Updated yesterday at 11:49 PM.
“Changing the clock is an outdated concept that causes frustration and confusion. It’s just stupid, there’s no other way to put it,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio, author of the bill.
On the East Coast, where night falls around 4:15 p.m. in December, Sheldon Whitehouse, a senator from Rhode Island, also pleaded that winter time “makes our lives dark, literally.”
Ending the time shift is “excellent news,” says Nadia Josselin, MD, scientific director of the Center for Advanced Study in Sleep Medicine at Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montreal.
The main idea behind changing the time was originally to match the hours of activity and the hours of sunshine to reduce the use of artificial lighting. But many denounce the negative effects on circadian rhythms.
“When we change the time, we notice, on the following Monday, more heart attacks and road accidents. People may feel more tired and have a more nervous mood,” she adds.
However, the law’s fate is uncertain: to enter into force, it must be passed in the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Joe Biden – who has the power to veto it. The president has yet to state his position on the issue.
Until the sun rises and sets later
Mme However, Jocelyn was surprised that the Senate decided to maintain daylight saving time. “Standard timing lets in light in the morning, which is important for telling our bodies to get up and move on,” she explains.
The Canadian Sleep Association recommended keeping the standard time instead, as it helps maintain “optimal sleep as well as the perfect alignment of the human circadian clock.”
However, daylight saving time is useful for people who prefer exposure to light at the end of the day. “It’s good news for those who go to bed late, but bad news for early risers,” the specialist summarizes.
Daylight saving time is still a topic of debate in Canada. The prime ministers of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia have said they are open to the idea of giving up on changing the time.
British Columbia Prime Minister John Horgan passed legislation three years ago to allow the province to use daylight saving time throughout the year.
However, Mr. Horgan said Friday that his county wouldn’t give up on changing the time twice a year without the three US states in the same time zone — Washington, Oregon and California — doing so as well.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also said Friday he would like to see the province stick to daylight saving time and look forward to the long summer days.
In addition, Yukon and most of Saskatchewan maintain standard time all year round.
Friday instead of Saturday
If daylight saving time is kept, Mme Jocelyn suggests changing the time on Friday evening instead of Saturday evening, giving most people more time to adjust their sleep before returning to school or work activities on Monday.
The Canadian Sleep Association also recommends that the time change be made at the beginning of April and October. Their website reads, “Changes of time will then occur near the equinoxes and should be less disruptive, because daylight and darkness will be of more equal duration.”
With Agence France-Presse and the Canadian press
Are you for or against the time change? What effect does that have on your life?
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