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 firstname.lastname@example.org.