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

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On Sunday March 11, 2012, most Canadians will be changing their clocks one hour ahead for daylight savings
On Sunday March 11, 2012, most Canadians will be changing their clocks one hour ahead for daylight savings

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 TimeandDate.com. 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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