Daylight Saving(s) Wreaks Havoc in Personal and Business Lives


I don’t like it. There, I said it. I think Daylight Saving(s) Time (DST) is an antiquated as well as controversial practice first proposed in 1895. This same year the second attempt at granting women the right to vote was on June 5, when the vote was taken on Nicholas Davin’s resolution calling for women suffrage. The resolution was defeated 105 to 47 by an exclusive club of male legislators. According to duhaime.org’s Law Museum, “The hon. member for Bothwell (the Hon. David Mills) says that woman is an aesthetic product, and that we would interfere with her aesthetic character if we gave her the right to vote.” But, I digress, the point being if we (men and women) can win the right to vote for women, surely we can revisit the logic of DST.

Many countries, including Canada, allow individual regions to determine whether they will use DST. According to Wikipedia, in British Columbia alone there are two main exceptions: “Part of the Peace River Regional District of BC … is on Mountain Time and does not observe DST. This means that in winter the region is on the same time as Edmonton, Alberta, and in summer is on the same time as Vancouver, BC. The East Kootenay region of south-eastern BC … is on Mountain Time and observes DST. This means that the region is always on the same time as Edmonton, Alberta. One exception in this region is Creston, which observes MST year round. Time in Creston is therefore the same as Edmonton in the winter and Vancouver in the summer.” Still with me?

While DST may benefit businesses in retail and outdoor entertainment (golf) who can better take advantage of after normal working hour business; farming, in particular, is more negatively impacted by this bi-annual change. While humans can be prodded into thinking that, by the mere adjustment of clocks, time itself has changed; farm animals are quite set in their ways and will continue to follow their internal clock regardless of what legislation dictates.

Research shows that these semi-annual time changes can effect mood, energy levels, productivity, and can lead to an increase in workplace injuries. According to psychiatrist Dr. Khushro Unwalla of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, the affect is similar to jet lag. DST also impacts timekeeping, travel, billing, record keeping, and software systems. While most software automatically switches to DST, errors are common especially when DST rules change. Admittedly, as a virtual worker not adhering to ‘regular’ business hours nor having to worry about commuting, the impact on my business is limited as well as my personal schedule.

According to the Globe and Mail, a recent report by ICBC shows that they are concerned about statistics showing a 23 per cent jump in crashes the Monday following DST. So, for those of us who must conform to local legislation, drive carefully and try some of the tips below to help adjust to the new time.

  • Reset clocks as early in the weekend as possible – this will help reduce workweek disruption
  • Go to bed on Saturday (or even Friday) night according to the new time – this will help your brain to accept the change.
  • Don’t sleep in – get up when you normally would to help your body adjust to the new schedule
  • Exercise – this releases serotonin which is a chemical that will help your body adjust
  • Keep naps to 20 minute maximum – napping for too long as your body adjusts will negatively impact your night’s sleep

This year, DST is Sunday, March 14th @ 2:00AM.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Daylight Saving(s) Wreaks Havoc in Personal and Business Lives”
  1. Although I appreciate that we all have problems adjusting to DST, it’s incorrect to say that it’s antiquated. In fact, DST was amended in 2007 by the US government (and Canada followed suit) to move the DST start date forward from early April to mid-March and the end date back from mid-October to early November.

    The whole idea behind GST is not to make our lives more comfortable or give us more time to play golf (if we do), but to save energy. In that respect, many economists say it’s been a huge success (of course, some scientists disagree).

    Although I don’t like losing an hour every spring, I certainly enjoy gaining an hour every autumn when the mornings are dark and (in Vancouver, at least) wet. What joy to snuggle under the blanket for another hour!

    Best regards,
    Phyllis Harber-Murphy
    More Than 9 2 5 Virtual Assistance
    http://www.morethan925.com

    • westcoastway says:

      Hi Phyllis,

      thanks for commenting. Even though reducing evening usage of incandescent lighting was an early goal of DST, our more modern heating and cooling usage patterns now differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory. One thing I think we can agree on is that it’s still controversial.

      I always welcome other people’s opinions…even when they differ from my own 🙂

      Cheers,
      Karen

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