Opinion: Clock change doesn't 'save' my sanity as a parent


At first, like every naive parent, I was excited to “fall back” on Sunday morning.

In my mind, this season’s time change meant an extra hour in bed, and hopefully an extra hour early to bed too. But then I remembered that I have three young children and a puppy, and the “daylight saving” dread set in.

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While daylight saving time may provide us with an added hour of evening sun in the summer months, and brighter mornings in the fall, the time change certainly doesn’t save my sanity as a parent. With the one-hour shift comes a slew of schedule setbacks - meals at off-hours, waking in the wee hours of the morning and bedtimes that feel an hour too late.

For as long as I can remember, the twice-a-year tradition had sparked the same old controversial conversation: do we get to sleep in, or do we have to wake up earlier once the clocks have changed? And these questions usually lead to a long-winded tongue twister about feelings.

“OK, so if we set the clocks forward, then itfeels like it’s 6 a.m., but really it’s 7 a.m.?” I would ask my best friend every year as the time change in spring arrived. And in the fall, we would engage in a back-and-forth conversation about whether or not we would gain an hour of sleep once we were to “fall back” our clocks.

Now that we’re both moms, we care less about the specifics, and just want to know if the shift is going to grant us or deny us the extra hour of sleep we deserve, because for parents, we know that sleep is sacred – and seldom.

As a mom, I may be rushing around changing the clocks and planning around prolonged adjustments, but nothing can prepare me for the repercussions that are about to arise. Because I know that with the change, comes a few days of futility.

I’m done with DST, and I know that it’s not just the parents who are fed up with the fall switch.

According to a recent article in The Globe & Mail titled, “Turn back the clock on Daylight Savings: Why Standard Time all year round is the healthy choice,” a science-backed argument can be made for putting an end to the time change challenges that we face twice a year.

“After time switches, particularly the “spring forward,” there are increased rates of car accidents, heart attacks, strokes and workplace injuries,” explain the authors of the article. In further explaining how even a one-hour change can affect our overall performance, the authors continue to say that historically, “Our body clocks would be in sync with the sun clock. The problem is that we live in societies that force us to get up and go to work or school at times that we don’t get to choose. Chronobiologists, the name given to scientists who study biological timing, call this situation “social jet lag,” when the body clock doesn’t match the social clock.”

While our bodies are made to wake, perform, and sleep with the rising and setting of the sun, it just isn’t so in today’s world.

The article concludes with, “As Canadian biological rhythm researchers supporting evidence-based policy, we strongly recommend a switch to permanent Standard Time,” and I concur. Let’s do away with the time change and let the earth do its thing.

Bianca Bujan is a mother of three, writer, editor, and marketing consultant. Find her on Twitter @biancabujan and Instagram @bitsofbee. 


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