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Circadian Rhythm Expert Warns Albertans Against Year-Round Daylight Saving Time


Albertans are preparing for the upcoming election, but they should also decide whether to keep Daylight Saving Time permanent or not. This is because they will be asked to choose whether to continue rotating between standard and DST or keep permanent Daylight Saving Time. 

However, according to Dr. Michael Antle, a circadian rhythm expert from the University of Calgary, these choices consist of a bad and worse one. He is an advocate of abolishing the bi-annual tradition. 

Dr. Antle has been doing it for years and promoting that Calgary should stick with standard time instead. "We know that (the time changes) do cause harm, and it's killing me to be advocating for them right now because I know how bad they are," he stated.

Albertans have contradicting opinions on the issue. Some favor Daylight Saving Time, while others find it annoying to do the time change twice a year. 

But for Dr. Antle, a year-round DST would be worse for Albertans. "Because of where Alberta is, relative to the time zones we follow, it's going to be harder for us," he explained. 

"Because we're so far north, we have concise days, which means we're going to feel the adverse effects of being at the wrong time even more," Dr. Antle added. No matter how good the intention was when DST was created, experts believe that extra darkness in the morning can cause disruptions to a person's circadian rhythm. 

Based on the 2017 study of the American Association for Cancer Research, circadian disruption was linked to increased cancer rates. It can also lead to increased rates of diabetes, obesity, and workplace injuries. 

Daylight Saving Time has both pros and cons, but since the province says a majority 'yes' vote on the permanent DST referendum question, the time change would come into effect by next fall at the earliest.

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