Fall Again: How to Minimize Time Change Disturbances | Jobi Cool


Daylight will end on November 6, and Canadians are bracing for less evening light over the winter.

The biennial time change asks people in November to set their clocks back an hour at 2 a.m., regaining the hours lost to sleep with the onset of daylight in March.

Most communities observe the time change except for northwestern BC, Creston, BC, Yukon, most of Saskatchewan, southeastern Labrador, Southampton Island, Nvt. and three northern Ontario towns, Pickle Lake, Atikokan and New Osnaburgh.

While people lose hours of sleep in the spring leading to mood swings and increased fatigue, experts also believe that gaining an hour in November can be disruptive.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology in May 2017 on the effects of daylight shows that time changes increased unipolar depression.

Researchers analyzed 185,419 Danish hospital contacts for unipolar depression across the transition from summer to winter. They determined that the time change caused an 11 percent increase in unipolar depression, which disappeared in about 10 weeks.

GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH THE TIME CHANGE

Experts like Amy Deacon, founder of Toronto Wellness Counselling, are preparing for a tough fall and winter with clients.

The outbreak has left many with mental health complications, and returning to the office is burning out workers. But Deacon says people should be patient with themselves this year.

“We’re really finding that people’s mental health has deteriorated, they’re more likely to develop anxiety (and) depression,” she told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview Saturday. “We’re going into it a little more crippled and marinated.”

While many people are officially diagnosed with depression, seasonal affective disorder and anxiety, Deacon says anyone can feel the effects of less sunlight.

Some of the symptoms include irritability, fatigue, lethargy and reduced emotional bandwidth.

“They just feel a little fried to be honest,” Deacon said.

To combat these feelings, she recommends that her clients start preparing before the time changes, by getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, fueling their bodies with nutritious foods, and exercising daily. Once a pattern of behavior is established, she says, it’s easier for people to stick to routines through difficult dark days.

Deacon also recommends that people connect with a doctor or seek talk therapy or online counseling before serious symptoms of depression appear.

“I want people to take their mental health seriously,” she said. “It’s much easier to recover and recover when we’re proactive than when we’re responding to a crisis.”

Having small events or plans to look forward to is a technique she recommends to clients, as she notices that some people get “isolated” in the winter.

“I’m really encouraging them to make plans and … to know that they’re going to have real relationships, connections in real life, it makes such a difference to not feel alone,” Deacon said.

Another thing people can do is light therapy through a special lamp that mimics sunlight. According to the Center on Addiction and Mental Health, solar panels can help people suffering from depression.

WILL CANADA CANCEL THE DATE?

Canada’s provincial and territorial governments have the power to get rid of the time changes, a movement that has gained traction in recent years.

Several provinces and states have emergency laws that allow for daylight savings.

In March of this year, the US Senate passed a bill that would make daylight saving permanent, if neighboring states follow suit. This could set off a chain reaction in Canada after some provinces passed bills citing similar measures.

In 2019, BC passed a bill to make daylight saving permanent after 93 percent of residents expressed support for the proposal. Ontario’s Bill 2022 is similar.

However, both provinces will only proceed with the policy if neighboring states and provinces are on the same page



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