Canadians started practicing daylight savings time over 100 years ago. The purpose? To save coal and energy for factories. Obviously things have changed drastically since those days, yet we still follow the annual ritual of turning our clocks forward or back, with the idea that it's beneficial for us.
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TL;DR Daylight saving time has been causing Canada more harm than good for decades. Considering the next time change is this Sunday, November 4, there are a few things everyone should know while they set their clocks back to standard time. Below are eight reasons why we should get rid of DST.
It turns out this can all be an entire waste of time, causing us to lose an hour of sleep half of the year and then spend the other half re-adjusting to the time change all for no reason.
Seriously, the negatives of daylight savings time are pretty massive and prove even further why we should leave this practice in the past (where it belongs). Here's a few reasons why we really should be switching our clocks forward or back ever again:
1. Majority of the world doesn't even use it
Not even half of the world uses it. 79 per cent of the world is free from ever having to disrupt their sleep schedule or put their watches back an hour. In fact, quite a few countries let go of this old practice a few decades ago after realizing how pointless it was.
2. It makes us feel depressed
During the November time change, we're already on the not-so-happy end of things due to a Canadian winter on the horizon. One study confirms that the rate of diagnosed depression cases skyrocket in the weeks following the fall time change.
3. We become less productive
A German paper was released to measure daylight savings time's effect on "life satisfaction." Researchers discovered that after losing an hour of sleep during the spring clock change, people began to experience "non-negligible losses of utility". Even after that hour of sleep was given back in November, productivity stayed unchanged.
4. It's not actually saving any energy
The National Research Council of Canada reviewed whether or not daylight saving time was really beneficial for saving energy for Canadians. The conclusion? They have no idea. The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research also conducted a study, and after analyzing energy consumption in 7 million households it was concluded that DST was actually wasting more energy.
5. It's been killing people for years
It's common sense that if you're telling the entire country to start losing an hour of sleep each night beginning in March, more groggy drivers are going to end up causing serious, sometimes fatal, collisions. The Journal of Sleep Medicine found a 10 per cent increase in fatal car accidents during the fall daylight saving time change, which confirms this truly is doing more harm than good.
6. There's a massive spike in workplace injuries
The Journal of the American Psychological Association found that in the U.S. alone, there was an average of 2,649 days of work lost just in one year because of injuries sustained thanks to daylight saving time exhaustion. The same study also concluded that giving workers that extra hour of sleep back in November did virtually nothing to decrease workplace injuries.
7. Not all of Canada observes it
We have to admit it, when it comes to changing our clocks forward and back and blindly following a practice that is ruining our lives, Saskatchewan is light years ahead. The province still follows DST, but instead of using Mountain Time Zone, over 1.1 million residents synchronize their clocks with Central Standard Time. This offers more daylight in the summer and no depression induced by time change in the fall. The strategy is so great that other provinces have begun to follow their lead.
So, is daylight saving time really worth it after hearing all the bad things it does to us? Unfortunately we're in for another round of turning our clocks backs this Sunday, November 4.