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

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

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read