British Columbians are preparing themselves for losing an hour of sleep this weekend as clocks roll ahead at 2 a.m. Sunday for Daylight Saving Time.
If the prospect of losing that sleep already seems exhausting, experts have a tip on how to adjust: soak up all that extra sunlight as soon as you can.
Speaking on CKNW’s Jill Bennett Show Saturday, Dr. Julie Carrier, a sleep expert with Montreal’s Centre for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, said exposing yourself to sunlight right when you wake up can benefit everything from your health to your mood.
LISTEN: (Starts at Chapter 3) Jill Bennett talks to Dr. Julie Carrier about the importance of sleep and sun
“The light that you receive immediately after waking up is very good to tell your biological clock to advance,” Carrier said.
“Even though it’s difficult sometimes when we are sleepy to turn on the light or go into a very bright environment, I highly suggest that will be the way that your biological clock will adapt more rapidly.”
According to Carrier, the vast majority of Canadians say they are sleep deprived as it is, so taking away another hour of sleep will make them feel even more tired.
That’s why getting to bed early tonight is also crucial — as well as leaving the phone alone.
“People don’t prioritize their sleep,” Carrier said, adding the problem is especially prevalent among young people. “They’ll cut the number of hours of sleep, or bring the new technologies into the bed, and then they’re awake texting and chatting in the nighttime.”
WATCH: Tips on how to get your kids to adjust to Daylight Saving Time
Carrier also recommends planning further ahead next year by starting to go to bed a little bit earlier each day during the week leading up to the time change and waking up earlier as well.
“If people starting on, say, Thursday went to bed 15 minutes earlier each day and started waking up 15 minutes earlier each day, that will have been helpful because the biological clock is able to shift, but it takes a bit of time,” she said.
Despite plenty of ways to adjust, British Columbians are clearly ready to hit snooze on Daylight Saving Time.
Premier John Horgan has said more people ask him about abolishing the time change than they do on any other issue.
On Thursday, Horgan sent a letter to the governors of Washington, Oregon and California to keep B.C. in mind as they debate proposals to stick to one time zone.
“I think we can act in unison, the four jurisdictions, and make the argument we can stay in Daylight Saving Time or Pacific Standard Time and then do it together,” the premier said. “My request to the governors was to share information with me.”
Only a few B.C. municipalities — Chetwynd, Creston, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson and Fort St. John — remain on standard time all year round.
On Saturday, House lawmakers in the Washington legislature passed a measure to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. The bill will then go to the Senate, and will need final approval from the federal Congress before moving forward.
—With files from Richard Zussman and Doris Maria Bregolisse
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