Daylight Savings Time 2012: When We Should Change Our Clocks This Spring?

The Huffington Post Canada   Posted: 03/05/2012 7:43 pm EST

At 2 a.m. on Sunday March 11 2012, Canadians will turn their clocks an hour ahead for daylight savings time.

Also known as 'daylight saving time' (the technical term) or 'spring forward,' the daylight savings time shift is the first of two time changes in 2012. The second change occurs in the first Sunday of November, when Canadians to turn their clocks an hour back.

Starting next week, many of us look forward to an extra hour of daylight, but feel crankier from losing an hour of sleep. It often spurs the question, 'Why do we have daylight savings in the first place?'

Signs point to Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Franklin coined the phrase 'Early to bed, early to rise,' and is said to have realized the energy savings potential of shifting the time to maximize daylight hours, according to National Geographic. The practice really took hold during the First World War, when several countries, including Canada, adopted the practice to save on electrical energy and coal. The jury is still out on whether it conserves energy, with conflicting reports for and against the shift.

In Canada, daylight savings time is determined by provincial legislation. However, certain cities have different rules, according to the National Research Council Of Canada.

Before November 2011, residents of Newfoundland changed their clocks after midnight, but this year will join the rest of the country at 2 a.m. Saskatchewan, some border towns in Alberta and Manitoba, and a few parts of Ontario and B.C. however, don't experience daylight time, according to the CBC.

Around the world, 75 countries and territories have at least one location that observes daylight savings time, according to On the flip side, 164 countries don't observe time change at all.

For those who do, the change can be very noticeable, and even though you lose just one hour of sleep, it can take a toll on your health. In September 2010, researchers from the University of Sydney found that for each hour of lost sleep, levels of "psychological distress" rose by five per cent among young people, according to Time Healthland. Another study also revealed that the lack of sleep can also be linked to depression, weight gain and sometimes, even death.

At the very least, if you don't change your clocks, you could end up late for work Monday morning.

RELATED: Looking for ways to catch up on your Zzzs? Here are 10 ways to get a good night's sleep.

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  • Keep Up With Your Commitments

    Just like any relationship, sleeping better also requires you not to cheat -- your schedule, that is. Try to sleep around the same time each day to fall into a daily routine.

  • Get 7 To 8 Hours Of Sleep

    They say you need seven to eight hours of sleep every day -- Cederberg says 'they' are right. She says most adults function the best with at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

  • Turn Off The Lights

    To ensure a good night's sleep, make sure your room is dark. Close the curtains, turn off your lamp and the television. Cederberg says the smallest amount of light could affect your sleep -- use an eye mask if you need to.

  • Test Your Pillows -- Really

    Cederberg suggests spending a day testing out different types of pillows, like feather or foam ones, to see which one is the best fit for you. You should never test a pillow if you're tired though -- you may just like everything in the store.

  • Stay Fit

    Exercising isn't only good for your health, it can give you energy throughout the day. Challenging your body will also help you rest better, Ceberberg says.

  • Keep Your Bedroom Clean

    Make sure your room is tidy before you sleep. Switch up your linens once every two weeks, keep your room dust free and Cederberg recommends adjusting the temperature to 18 degrees Celsius for the best zZZ environment.

  • Block Out Noise

    If you live in the city, the sounds of cars and buses may be your morning wake up call (or the annoyances keeping you up at night). Cederberg suggests using ear plugs to block out unwanted noise.

  • Put Your Phone Away

    Another distraction before sleeping is playing with your phone or answering texts. Put your phone in another room to help fall asleep with a clear mind and not worry about a meeting the next day.

  • Say No To Heavy Meals

    Midnight snack cravings? Try to say no. Eating heavy foods right before bed will make it harder for your body to digest and make you tired the next morning.

  • Find A Good Mattress

    Even though pillows ensure a good night's rest -- a good mattress is just as important.

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