Students want out of biannual time changes

Fifth-year St. Thomas University student Lucas Gutiérrez-Robert hates the time change. He wishes New Brunswick would join some other provinces and territories that don’t change their clocks back and forth.

“I have terrible insomnia, so any change to sleep schedule makes me very, very unhappy,” he said.

March 8 was the last time Yukon turned their clocks forward. The territory will now use daylight savings time year-round. This change comes after survey results showed 93 per cent of respondents wished to end the biannual changes. Certain parts of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Quebec and British Columbia do not participate in the time change either.

STU students Gutiérrez-Robert and Michaela Macaulay believe New Brunswick should follow in their steps.

The time change can be disorienting for students, especially close to exams. The change in schedule has also been shown to decrease productivity and increase the number of heart attacks, according to a CBC article.

Macaulay, a third-year student, said she wasn’t sure of the reasoning behind changing the clocks twice a year.

“I actually have no idea, I’m not going to lie,” she said.

Canada has one of the longest histories with daylight savings. In Ontario in 1908, an early form of daylight savings began to take advantage of the longer summer days. Municipalities throughout Canada began adopting the practice, but it was not widely adopted, said a CBC article.

Researchers at the British Columbia Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Lab said that permanent daylight savings time could upset sleep patterns and cause more serious medical issues, said a CBC article.

Macaulay and Gutiérrez-Robert saw benefits in Yukon’s approach to permanent daylight savings time.

“In the winter, when it does change and it’s darker at like five, it kind of sucks. Especially for everyone getting out of school and work,” said Macaulay.

“I think more light during the day is better,” said Gutiérrez-Robert.

Studies have shown that daylight savings time may decrease robberies and car accidents, not to mention the mental and physical health benefits that come with an increase of time spent in the sun, said a Vox article.

As of now, there is no official discussion on New Brunswick switching to permanent daylight savings time. But for Macaulay, the benefits are clear.

“When it’s lighter past everyone’s class times, it may help with everyone’s mood,” said Macaulay.

“I find that when the time does switch back to the summertime, everyone’s in a lot better mood, and everyone’s a bit more positive.”

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