Daylight time can have a major impact your health, according to one Alberta university professor. File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Failing to adjust to daylight time can affect health, says Alberta professor

An Alberta professor says daylight time can have a major impact your health.

Albertans and others across the world should prepare to potentially lose some sleep this weekend, as clocks will turn forward an hour for daylight time at 2 a.m. Sunday.

According to Steven Johnson, a professor from the faculty of Health Disciplines at the Athabasca University, any slight change, such as losing or gaining an hour of sleep, can have a detrimental impact to physical and mental wellness.

Johnson’s research shows one hour of sleep loss can lead to serious implications, including increased risk of heart problems and a rise in vehicle collisions – it can typically result in a six per cent increase in collisions.

Many Albertans voiced their displeasure with daylight time through a government survey in late 2019.

Ninety-one per cent of the 141,000 survey respondents said they preferred to stay on summer hours year-round, rather than continue to change their clocks twice a year, Minister of Service Alberta Nate Glubish said in a press release Friday.

“With a decision about time zones, we must consider what our partners from other jurisdictions are doing and avoid taking actions that would leave Alberta out of sync with our neighbours. As part of that process, we are continuing to have conversations with key organizations and members of the business community,” Glubish said.

“We know more and more governments are contemplating this move to permanent summer hours, including British Columbia, which has passed legislation to enable the province to move to one permanent time, and Yukon, who will be changing their clocks for the last time this Sunday.”

Glubish said the government is reaching out to “partners” in Eastern Canada to discuss the option of moving together in unison.

“We will update Albertans when decisions are made,” he said.

Saskatchewan does not change its clocks twice a year and the Yukon government announced this week it will end the practice of seasonal time change.

In the United States, Arizona and Hawaii clocks don’t change either. Legislation has also been passed in a number of other American states to move to summer hours permanently, but federal approval is required to enact the change.

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