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EDITORIAL – At the end of the day, Standard Time is better year round

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE CLOCK FALLS BACK this Sunday and it’s time for the annual debate over Daylight Saving Time. A growing number of jurisdictions plan to do away with the twice-yearly clock change but there’s growing reason to think a permanent switch to DST is a bad idea.

A Kamloops-led lobby has been arguing the case in favour of ditching Standard Time in this province for years, and the Horgan government has promised to do just that, as soon as neighbouring provinces and American states do the same thing.

But scientists are warning against it. It has to do with sleep cycles.

One of the major arguments against switching back and forth is that disrupted sleep leads to more heart attacks and auto accidents. Those who defend it say it actually results in fewer accidents and less crime because the sun stays up longer in summer.

But the science points out that Daylight Saving Time messes with our circadian rhythms because our biological clocks are synchronized with the sun.

During DST, we go to bed later because it’s still light outside at, say, 9 or even 10 p.m. Our body likes its routine, and objects. So we sleep less, and are less healthy because of it.

If we kept Daylight time during the winter, the mornings would be dark longer at the time we should be getting out of the sack and greeting the day. Since our bodies depend on light to set their schedules, it creates more problems.

We have to look no further than dogs and milk cows for proof. Cows don’t care what it says on the clock; when it’s time to be milked, they want action. When the family pooch’s body clock says it’s time for dinner, it doesn’t matter what time the clock on the wall says.

Bottom line is, if it’s time to make a change, we’d be better off sticking with Standard Time all year round.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8573 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – At the end of the day, Standard Time is better year round

  1. Dawne Taylor // November 4, 2021 at 12:25 PM // Reply

    I too would favour year round daylight savings time – better use of sunshine hours (which contribute to better health), fewer accidents at dusk. I agree with the previous comments that one hour changing 2x a year is not a big deal given the number of hours in a year, and the amount of international travel across time zones.

  2. Ken McClelland // November 4, 2021 at 8:12 AM // Reply

    Oh, this again? Disagree. I am in favour of staying with the current system as it is at worst an extremely minor inconvenience. If a permanent switch were to be made, I am in favour of DST. I like those long summer evenings June-August. Conversely, having the sun come up at 4AM in the summertime seems a waste of good daylight, and also disrupts sleep patterns. Funny how you don’t hear people complain about multi-hour time changes when going off for a European or tropical vacation….”I would go to Hawaii again this winter but I just can’t take the two hour time change.” Right. In any case, I assume those that have been feeling mopey all spring and summer because of that one precious hour of sleep they lost last March will be all bright-eyed and bushy tailed come Sunday morning. Have a good one!

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