Need an expert? Should we simply abolish Daylight Saving Time?

Posted on Friday, November 1, 2019

A clock.

Members of the media may directly contact the following expert(s).

Jean-Philippe Chaput (English and French)
Faculty of Medicine
613.737.7600 ext. 3683
jpchaput@cheo.on.ca

According to Jean-Philippe Chaput, professor at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine, Daylight Saving Time can greatly affect health and cause several problems that would justify its abolition. Losing or gaining an hour's sleep may seem trivial, but these changes can have undesirable effects on our lifestyle.

- Lack of sleep increases fatigue and reduces our concentration, affects our mood and can cause errors or accidents due to carelessness.

- Sleeping less affects our eating habits and increases the desire to eat sweet, fatty foods and drink alcohol.

- As a general rule, the body can take a few days to adjust to the loss of an hour during the day, or even a week.

Joseph De Koninck (English and French)
Faculty of Social Sciences - Faculté des sciences sociales
School of Psychology - École de psychologie
jdekonin@uottawa.ca

According to Joseph De Koninck, Professor Emeritus at the University of Ottawa's School of Psychology, since our biological clock and sleep are disrupted by Daylight Saving Time, we should simply abolish it and stay on solar time (standard time) throughout the year.

- The circadian cycles that govern our sleep are fragile and many people complain about the harmful effects of changing their routine. Recent surveys in Europe, British Columbia and Alberta confirm that the vast majority of people would prefer to see Daylight Saving Time abolished. Only businesses that enjoy the late sunny hours of summer object to this.

- Health problems related to sleep deprivation include obesity, diabetes control, heart abnormalities, and mental health problems.

- The advantages that led to the introduction of Daylight Saving Time for the summer season a century ago no longer exist, and this practice creates many inconveniences for a significant part of the population. He therefore recommends that Canada seriously consider abandoning this practice.

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