issues and experts

Experts call on government to adopt Standard Time instead of Daylight Savings Time

October 30, 2019

Myriam Juda, Research Associate, Department of Psychology, 604.347.9204;
Braden McMillan, University Communications and Marketing, 236.880.3459; 

Open letter and supporting documentation:

With the B.C. Government introducing legislation tomorrow that could permanently keep Daylight Savings Time (DST) year-round, two Simon Fraser University psychology experts are asking the B.C. Government to reconsider. In an open letter sent to the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health, SFU researcher Myriam Juda and professor Ralph Mistlberger joined other experts from the areas of circadian biology, sleep, mental health and safety, in asking the government to support permanent Standard Time instead of DST. 

Experts say the human internal biological clock needs exposure to morning light. When exposure to sunlight in the morning is reduced, the biological clock drifts later, making it harder to wake up and causing an increased mismatch between the body clock and local time (a condition called social jetlag). The letter cautions that if DST is kept year-round, sunrise would be later in the winter, leading to 67 days with decreased exposure to morning sunlight compared to permanent Standard Time.

SFU Research Associate Myriam Juda is available to speak to media about her expert opinion on the matter and why researchers from around the world have agreed that year-round Standard Time is the preferred option from a health and safety perspective. 

The open letter and supporting documentation can be viewed here

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