B.C. Premier John Horgan and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver (right) hold meetings in Whitehorse, Sept. 30, 2019, where they agreed to coordinate a shift to daylight time with western U.S. states. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver (right) hold meetings in Whitehorse, Sept. 30, 2019, where they agreed to coordinate a shift to daylight time with western U.S. states. (B.C. government)

Standard time better for public health, B.C. researchers say

B.C., Yukon wait for U.S. states to make daylight time permanent

As B.C. formally gets in line to join the west coast of North America in choosing to switch to year-round daylight time, unversity researchers are telling the provincial government it’s the wrong way to go.

Medical, psychological and sleep researchers at Simon Fraser University and University of B.C. say year-round standard time is better than daylight time, the experts said in an open letter to the B.C. government Thursday. They warn that staying on daylight time in winter reduces morning light, which has negative health and safety effects for children and adults.

“If daylight saving time is kept year-round, sunrise would be later in the winter, leading to decreased exposure to morning sunlight,” the researchers say, adding that experts in biological rhythms and sleep “unanimously agree” that standard time year-round is better.

“Our body’s internal biological clock needs exposure to morning light,” the letter emphasizes. “When exposure to sunlight in the morning is reduced, our biological clock drifts later, making it harder to wake up and causing an increased mismatch between the body clock and local time (a condition known as social jet lag).”

B.C. Attorney General David Eby introduced legislation Thursday to adopt daylight time permanently, but he and Premier John Horgan have repeatedly said they will not move ahead without Washington, Oregon and California to maintain economic and social ties. Yukon Premier Sandy Silver agreed to support the move at a meeting with Horgan in late September.

RELATED: B.C. set to change law to stick with daylight time

RELATED: Turn you clocks back at bedtime Saturday night

The annual “fall back” to standard time goes ahead as usual this Sunday, and next spring’s “spring forward” will also go ahead on March 8, 2020.

Premier John Horgan said Thursday that B.C.’s legislation allows the province to go either way, and the overwhelming public opinion is that they want to stop changing their clocks twice a year. The Peace River region already uses daylight time year-round, putting the northeast on B.C. time in summer and Alberta time in winter. Parts of the Kootenay region use mountain time, synchronizing with Alberta all year round.

The letter is signed by Simon Fraser University sleep researcher Myriam Juda; Najib Ayas, an associate professor of medicine at the UBC’s sleep disorders program; Judy Village, adjunct professor of UBC’s school of population and public health; Raymond Lam, a psychiatry professor and depression researcher at UBC; and Ralph Mistlberger, director of the sleep and circadian neuroscience lab at SFU.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign outside municipal hall on Dec. 1. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Tech offers hope as Salvation Army sees need skyrocket across B.C.

Charity is equipping hundreds of kettles across B.C. with ‘touchless giving technology’

Kathy MacNeil, president and chief executive officer of Island Health, Dawn Thomas, acting deputy health minister and Island Health’s vice president, Indigenous health and diversity and Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip First Nation, stand out Saanich Peninsula Hospital Tuesday morning, when they also answered questions about a new report that “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system. (Island Health/Submitted)
Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

Tsartlip First Nations Chief Don Tom welcomes changes following report but promises future scrutiny

BC Transit confirmed on Dec. 1 that a Langford employee has tested positive for COVID-19. (Courtesy of BC Transit)
Langford transit worker tests positive for COVID-19

Island Health is conducting contact tracing for the case

The Capital Regional District and the Habitat Acquisition Fund have agreed to partner on the purchase of the $3.4-million Mountain View Forest in Saanich to establish a new regional park. (Photo courtesy the Habitat Acquisition Trust)
CRD, Habitat Acquisition Trust to spend $3.4M on 20-hectare forest park in Saanich

Mountian Road Forest property to be conserved as regional park

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read