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Daylight Saving Time: Why the Monday after has major risks

Four things you need to know before the clocks change

Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 10:36 AM - It’s that time of year again.

The time where millions of Canadians and Americans lose an hour of sleep for no pressing reason in particular.

Although thousands of residents have protested in favour of ending Daylight Saving Time, the clocks will still move forward an hour on Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 a.m.

Here are four things you should know before springing forward.

1. “Spring forward” comes with safety concerns.

Losing an hour might seem insignificant, but Sgt. Kerry Schmidt from the Ontario Provincial Police says a later sunrise and sunset can have an impact on driving.

"Look down the road, anticipate any changes in driving patterns or driving conditions that are coming up,” Sgt. Schmidt told The Weather Network. “Give yourself enough following distance and give yourself that time and space so you can avoid and react to any collision or any emergency.”

BE PREPARED: Winter Driving Tips

2. Adding to the list of inconveniences, health issues have been linked to the change in time.

A Finnish study found that the risk of suffering an ischemic stroke (when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain) increased by eight per cent after the clocks moved forward in March.

“Previous studies have shown that disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm, also called an internal body clock, increase the risk of ischemic stroke, so we wanted to find out if Daylight Saving Time was putting people at risk,” the study’s author, Jori Ruuskanen said in a statement.

Cancer patients and adults over 65 years old faced the highest risk, the former at 25 per cent and the latter 20 per cent more likely to have a stroke after the time change.

DON'T MISS: New study finds Daylight Saving Time liked to increased risk of stroke.

3. Yes, it’s possible to prepare for Daylight Saving Time.

“I think you should start imagining it's Daylight Saving on the Friday,” advised Dr. James MacFarlane of the Toronto Sleep Institute. “[T]hen you have two days to grow accustomed to it and you're less likely to get into problems Monday morning.”

4. Remember to change your clocks and your batteries.

Fire departments and safety officials stress the importance of remembering to change the batteries in smoke detectors and household alarms during Daylight Saving while changing clocks. It’s the best (and often the only) time to remember to keep up maintenance on safety devices.

SPRING IS HERE: How will El Niño affect your spring? Find out on The Weather Network’s Spring Forecast.

Related Video: 9 Daylight Saving Time facts you may not have known.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Denise Mattox, Flickr.

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