Why Quebec should also abandon the time change

Why Quebec should also abandon the time change

The time change disrupts the daily lives of many people, twice a year.

The U.S. Senate has finally passed a bill to abolish daylight saving time and, according to a sleep expert, Canada and Quebec should follow suit. Here's why.

If the time change was introduced in the 18th century to save on lighting in the evening, there is no doubt that today it is less necessary because of our way of life. Who goes to bed at the same time as dusk in order to consume less electricity?

At least that's what Julien Heon, spokesperson for the virtual sleep clinic Haleo believes. 

According to him, one hour less sleep represents a change major routine for the sleep cycle, which has adverse effects the next day.  

“It's a stick in the wheels that is not necessary. If there are no positive effects, why are we doing it?” asks the expert.

Why Quebec should also abandon the time change

Photo: Laura Chouette/Unsplash

The time change is all the more difficult for people with fragile sleep, and even more so for people suffering from insomnia. Up to 50% of Canadians suffer from sleep disorders, he recalls.   

“It’s like the day after happy hour on a Thursday night where we had a few drinks and went to bed later,” he says. These people experience this every day: they get up tired, tired, and that's not counting the effects of medication to manage the problem.

Could it be here?

In Canada, the Yukon, Saskatchewan and some remote areas of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec no longer change the time. The governments of British Columbia and Ontario have committed in 2020 to do the same for all of their territory, but nothing has yet been approved. Discussions are also underway in New Brunswick and Quebec, but no commitments have been made.

And who says bad sleep says more sores.

“It is a pillar of health. A good sleep will have positive effects on the immune system, the heart, the aspect of concentration and productivity.

And it's also a mainstay for the economy.

According to Mr. Heon, poor sleep can also lead to delays in the office, while increasing the absenteeism rates and the risk of developing disability problems.

“There are also all the people who are not absent from work, but who are not focused and productive,” he adds.

It is therefore important, according to him, to have a public conversation on sleep. He is delighted that the American bill can bring the debate back to the fore, even in Canada.

“We talk a lot about nutrition and physical activity, but we talk very little about sleep in companies. For us, sleep is central and beneficial in so many ways. It is absolutely necessary to consider it”, he concludes.

The future therefore belongs to those… who sleep well! Zzz.

tips to minimize the impact of the time change 

As we are still stuck with the time change two times a year, you might as well prepare so as not to suffer too much.

First, it is better to aim for telework and not face-to-face: no need to get up earlier and add more stress to your schedule, advises Mr. Heon.

Also, go to bed 15 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime, for the four days before that date. Thus, you catch up with the time in your night… But there is a catch.

“The time change is from Saturday to Sunday, and often that's not where we're going to have our normal sleep, so already that doesn't help,” he laments .

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