26 October 2019 10:40
Has time run out on daylight savings? There is a growing weight of opinion in favor of scrapping daylight savings. We decided to look at the evidence, along with some cool time-saving tech. While an extra hour of daylight on summer evenings is very welcome, early risers want that light in the morning during the winter. Who is suggesting that daylight savings should end?
They want to adopt daylight savings as the permanent timezone. Today, the clocks moved forward to their customary position for the summer months. This yearly ritual "saves" one extra hour of daylight for the end of every day. Most people welcome daylight savings, but some want to go one step further and make this our permanent timezone. The concept of daylight savings was first proposed by George Hudson, a British-born New Zealand scientist. Hudson loved to study insects in his spare time — a hobby that required good natural light. In 1895, he put forward a paper suggesting a two-hour shift for the summer months in order to lengthen each day. His research was championed in the UK by builder, William Willett, who suggested that daylight savings would save energy on lighting in the evenings. Do we need daylight savings? In the far north, early risers appreciate the morning daylight in winter. The original argument for changing the clocks was to save energy. But a 2008 study concluded that DST only offers a 1% reduction in energy use for lighting — which is offset by air conditioning. Other studies show that there is a significant uptick in the number of heart attacks, suicides and car accidents in the days after the clocks change. So, should we adopt daylight saving time all year round? Sleep experts say that it's important to make a gradual change to your routine. Before bed, it's important to avoid bright, blue-tinted light. Until the law changes, DST is here to stay — so you might as well be prepared for the next time shift. What is your opinion on daylight savings? Daylight Saving Time starts again this weekend, as most of Canada springs forward for 2019. The time change happens Sunday at 2 a.m., when clocks move forward by one hour. So when you get up Sunday morning, make sure your clocks are changed. Not all of Canada observes Daylight Saving Time though – notably most of Saskatchewan, Fort Nelson, Creston and the Peace River Regional District in B.C., don't change their clocks. Neither do most African and Asian countries, and the European Union is considering abandoning the practice by 2021 – with legislators likely voting on the proposal by the end of March. Daylight Saving Time was first introduced over a century ago in order to conserve energy and save money, according to David Prerau, author of Seize the Daylight, a book that examines the history of the time change. But Thunder Bay, Ont., was the first city to change its clocks – way back in 1908. There's not much evidence to suggest that Daylight Saving Time actually saves energy today though. Studies disagree on whether or not the time change saves money – often suggesting only a tiny advantage. WATCH: Time to pull the plug on time change, suggests Winnipeg sleep expert Changing the time you wake up at affects your circadian clock – your internal biological rhythms, he said. This can have a whole host of effects on your system, including, according to one U.S. study, raising your risk of heart attack the Monday following the time change. "What happens is the shift in the biological clock actually lags a little bit," he said. READ MORE: Should Daylight Saving Time go? Daylight Saving Time also has economic consequences, said Lisa Kramer, professor of finance at the University of Toronto. "We often see negative returns on Mondays in general but following Daylight Saving Time changes, we see even larger negative returns." Kramer's research into markets in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany found that the dip in stock market returns on the Monday following Daylight Saving Time is two to five times larger than a typical Monday drop. Moving away from Daylight Saving Time when many of our trading partners – notably the U.S. The clocks will go forward by an hour on March 31. But the practice of changing our clocks in spring and in autumn - 'spring forward, fall back' - will soon be coming to an end in Europe. Explainer: What will happen in Ireland (and on the border) if Daylight Saving Time is scrapped? What is Daylight Saving Time? Daylight Saving Time (DST) was introduced in Great Britain and Ireland in May 1916 as a measure to give workers an extra hour of daylight. Other research suggests that moving the clock forward and back again affects individual's health - and to scrap the clock changes would only benefit our mental wellbeing. The European Parliament's Traffic Commission has voted 23 to 11 to abolish daylight savings in the EU, effective 2021. It will also require legislation changes by each individual member state and to decide whether to stay on 'summertime' or 'wintertime'. The UK members of the European Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee also voted to scrap the changes. If after leaving the European Union, the UK opts to retain Daylight Saving Time, they will be perfectly entitled to.