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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

When daylight saving time 2024 begins in Canada

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In just a few weeks, millions of Canadians will set their clocks ahead by 1 hour, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST) for the year 2024.

Daylight Saving Time will start this year on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. local time. While it may mean losing an hour of sleep, it also signifies the day when we begin to notice longer daylight hours.

Most Canadians in the respective time zones should set their clocks forward one hour on the evening of Saturday, March 9, before going to bed. However, smartphones, smartwatches, and other digital and Wi-Fi-enabled devices may adjust automatically while you sleep.

What is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time is a period lasting 8 months from March to November when most of the country adjusts their clocks.

By “springing forward” in March, we gain more daylight hours during the spring and summer months. And when adjusting back in November, we have more daylight in the morning.

Not all Canadians adhere to Daylight Saving Time. Yukon, most of Saskatchewan, and some regions in Quebec, Ontario, and BC maintain standard time throughout the year.

When does Daylight Saving Time start in Canada?

Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in Canada in 1908 after being initially proposed in 1895 by New Zealand entomologist George Hudson. He suggested the change to have more daylight hours for insect hunting and research.

Why is Daylight Saving Time controversial?

While some believe the clock change maximizes sunlight in the northern hemisphere during warmer months and adds an extra hour of daylight in the evening, the benefits of this change are debated. Some argue that it may have health implications.

Doctors from the University of Turku in Finland suggest a 7% increase in the risk of stroke and heart attacks after the time change.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine also reports an 8% increase in car accidents on the day after the time change.

Furthermore, Canadian researchers warn that the practice of Daylight Saving Time and changing clocks twice a year may contribute to a phenomenon called “Social Response Lag,” causing disruptions in sleep and sleep deprivation, mental and physical fatigue, metabolic issues, etc.

While experts agree that the spring change has a more pronounced impact, the fall change also has its downsides.

Reverting to standard time in the fall is associated with depression and seasonal affective disorder, where people often feel more melancholic due to reduced exposure to daylight.

The clock change has been a debated topic in Canada for many years, with provincial lawmakers in Alberta, BC, and Ontario wanting to abolish the century-old tradition.

Any province wishing to eliminate Daylight Saving Time faces delays in implementing new measures or awaits the synchronization with U.S. states in the same time zone.

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