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everything you need to know about daylight saving time
Everything You Need to Know About Daylight Saving Time
everything you need to know about daylight saving time

Everything You Need to Know About Daylight Saving Time

For many people around the world, Daylight Saving Time (DST) may seem unfamiliar or even perplexing, especially for those hailing from countries that don’t observe it. Originating from the idea of maximizing daylight during the longer days of spring and summer months, DST is the practice of setting clocks forward by one hour in the spring and back by one hour in the fall. Here’s our comprehensive guide to understanding and navigating Daylight Saving Time, particularly for those who’ve never encountered it before.

Understanding the basics

If you’ve ever wondered why it’s still bright outside at 8:30 p.m. in countries like Canada and the U.S., that’s because of Daylight Saving Time. DST aims to make better use of natural daylight during the longer days of the year. By adjusting clocks forward in the spring, people can enjoy more daylight in the evening, promoting energy conservation and potentially enhancing productivity as well. On the other hand, when clocks are set back in the fall, it aligns with the shorter days of autumn and winter. This helps us conserve energy and maintain consistency in daylight hours. 

DST in Canada

Parts of Canada first observed DST in 1908, and the nation has since continued this tradition for 116 years. Today, the following provinces and territories observe DST: 

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia (excluding some areas)
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut (excluding some areas)
  • Ontario (excluding some areas)
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec (excluding some areas)
  • Saskatchewan (partly)

When does DST start and end?

Every year, DST begins on the second Sunday of March at 2 a.m. and ends on the first Sunday of November at 2 a.m. As a result, DST lasts for a total of 34 weeks (238 days) every year, or about 65 percent of the entire year. This year, DST in Canada will start on Sunday, March 10, 2024, and end on Sunday, November 3, 2024. 

Adapting to the change

For individuals from countries where DST is not observed, adjusting to the time change can be a gradual process. Here are some quick tips that can help you embrace the new hours: 

Awareness

Be aware of when DST begins and ends in your current location. This information is typically publicized in advance by local authorities or through various media outlets. 

Prepare in advance

If you know when DST begins and ends, you can prepare in advance by gradually adjusting your schedule in the days leading up to it. This can help minimize the disruption to your daily routine. 

Update your devices

Ensure that all of your clocks and electronic devices are adjusted accordingly when DST begins or ends. While many devices nowadays update automatically, it’s essential to double-check to avoid confusion. 

Adjust sleep patterns

Losing one hour of sleep can take a toll on your body if you’re not prepared for the changes. Recognize that the time change may affect your sleep patterns initially, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule to let your body adapt naturally. 

Don’t forget about the benefits!

DST might present challenges initially, but it also offers several benefits, including:

Extended daylight

Longer daylight hours means more things to do. In the evenings, many will stay out to participate in outdoor activities, leisure pursuits and social gatherings. 

Energy conservation

By maximizing daylight hours, DST contributes to energy savings by reducing the need for artificial lighting during the evening hours. 

Boosted mood and productivity

Increased exposure to natural light has been linked to improved mood, productivity and overall well-being. 

Sources: Time and Date – What is Daylight Saving Time?, Daylight Saving Time in Canada, Sleep Foundation – How to Prepare for the Start and End of Daylight Saving Time 

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