Sleep experts say its important to prepare for the time change. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

‘Spring forward’ can hit already sleep-deprived Canadians hard

Health experts recommend preparing for daylight saving time

As British Columbians prepare to adjust the clocks, health experts advise adjusting sleep patterns too.

“[An hour] is not that much,” said Dr. Julie Carrier, a Canadian Institute of Health researcher and scientific director of the Sleep On It campaign. “It happens in our life all the time but that’s exactly the problem.”

Carrier said Canadians are chronically sleep deprived, and losing another hour could impact emotional, cognitive and physical well being.

“They will need to wake up an hour earlier for work on the Monday,” she said. “It can have a profound impact on plenty of functions.”

READ ALSO: Tips to prepare for and adjust faster to this weekend’s time change

Carrier suggests preparing in advance by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night in the week leading up to the ‘spring forward.’

“Start now – tonight,” she said. “Go to bed a little bit earlier … each night to be fully adapted when the time change arrives.”

But Carrier suggests that Canadians’ long-term sleep deprivation – particularly that of young people – is what really puts the population’s health at risk.

“The young are even almost proud of this – it’s a sign of productivity, a sign of having a full life,” she said. “Even though when you’re young you can override the impacts of sleep deprivation, in the long-term you are decreasing your odds of having good health.”

READ ALSO: B.C. set to change law to stick with daylight saving time

Carrier also notes that about one quarter of Canadians suffer from a chronic sleep condition.

“Tell me how you sleep now and I will be able to tell you what your physical, cognitive and emotional health will be in the future,” she said.

Daylight saving time starts March 8 with time ‘springing ahead’ an hour in an effort to conserve evening sunshine. The time change comes during ongoing controversy of its usefulness, with politicians bouncing around the concept of eliminating daylight saving time altogether.

Premier John Horgan has promised a bill to move to daylight saving but said no action on time change legislation would come before fall 2020.

For more information on sleep health, visit sleeponitcanada.ca.

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

Just Posted

Mysterious Brazilian honey barrel appears at Saanich intersection

Barrel spotted on West Saanich Road part of intersection construction project, district says

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Addition pending to Cape Scott Provincial Park?

BC Parks will wait before announcing plans for nearly $1 million old growth land purchase

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help B.C. boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Central Vancouver Island’s Green Mountain fire under full control

Fire fighters still monitoring site between Cowichan Lake and Nanaimo River

5 B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Most Read