Time change has long been a subject of debate and, whether we like it or not, it has set the rhythm of our lives. The same issues come up twice a year: Do we move the clock forward or back? Will we have one hour more of sleep or one hour less? How does the time change affect the body? How do we ensure this transition goes as smoothly as possible? Here’s an overview of the time change in Québec for 2023.
Do we move the clock forward or back?
That is THE big question! Here is a simple mnemonic to remind you:
In WINter, we WINd the clock back one hour.
Once you’ve memorized this trick, you can easily deduce that in March, it’s the opposite: in spring, we spring forward one hour.
When are the next time changes in Québec occurring in 2023?
In Québec, we move the clock forward on the second Sunday in March and back on the first Sunday in November. Different rules applyto certain regions, such as Basse-Côte-Nord and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
This spring, we will change time between Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12, 2023, at precisely 2 a.m. We’ll move the clock forward, so we’ll lose an hour of sleep.
Next fall, we will return to standard time between November 4 and 5, 2023, at precisely 2 a.m. on Sunday. We will move the clock back, and so we will get an extra hour of sleep . . . except for parents of young children, who will probably get up at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. to attend to their little ones, who will themselves follow their usual schedule!
Are there any side effects associated with the time change?
According to Dr. Roger Godbout, a professor specializing in sleep and mental health at the University of Montreal, the time change is a bit likejet lag. Disruption of the body’s internal clock can cause mood swings and irritability, especially in children and seniors. It can also cause hormonal imbalances and affect appetite. There is even an increase in car accidents, workplace accidents, and cardiovascular issues on the Monday following the time change!
How do I prepare for a time change?
It takes one to four days to adjust to the change. Here are some tips to cushion the shock:
Limit your consumption of stimulants such as coffee, tea, and chocolate before bedtime
Reduce alcohol consumption
Exercise during the day, but not in the hours before bedtime
In short, experts generally recommend adopting healthy habits that promote sleep during this period.
Also, before you go to bed, reset the time for devices and appliances that don’t automatically adjust, such as alarm clocks, watches, analogue clocks, microwaves, and stoves. Are you a home automation fan? Your connected devices should change time on their own. For example, the Helix Fi app lets you control your smart thermostats from a mobile phone, which adjusts the time automatically. No more walking around the house to adjust to the correct time!
Finally, don’t forget to take the opportunity to check your smoke alarm batteries.
Is the time change coming to an end?
Introduced in 1918to increase productivity and reduce energy consumption during the First World War, the time change seems less relevant today, especially when we consider the adverse effects on our health. The issue is now being debated in Québec and elsewhere in North America. For economic reasons primarily, Québec and Ontario must align themselves with the United States—particularly with New York, where the American stock exchange is headquartered. Any changes will have to be coordinated with our neighbours to the south.
For its part, the Canadian Sleep Society recommends terminating the practice of daylight saving time and maintaining standard time throughout the year. Standard time is the most biologically appropriate time for humans because it follows solar time. In other words, the sun is at its peak around noon. The light is distributed more evenly throughout the day.
What do you think about the time change? Would you like to keep it or abolish it? If so, should we be maintaining standard time all year or switch to daylight saving time? Join the discussion in the Community forum!