On March 13, 48 states in the U.S. set their clocks forward for daylight saving time.
More hours of sunlight is a happy indicator that spring is upon us and summer is around the corner.
Legislation is currently making its way through Congress to make daylight saving time permanent.
Studies find a link between seasonal depression and the twice-yearly time changes. So hopefully, with the change to permanent daylight saving time likely, such bouts of seasonal depression could affect fewer Americans.
According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal depression symptoms may include depression, lack of motivation, low energy, and difficulty concentrating. It may have something to do with a lack of vitamin D, which supports your immune, brain, and nervous system, and comes naturally from exposure to sunlight.
According to Susan Albers, a psychologist for the Cleveland Clinic, seasonal affective disorder is often caused by changes in our circadian rhythm, that internal natural clock that runs our sleep, our mood and our appetite.
According to Albers, the change comes from when there is a shift in the seasons and our access to daylight becomes less, our bodies struggle to adjust to the new light and time frame.
Young adults and women are at increased risk of seasonal affective disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
College years are full of changes that may contribute to developing seasonal depression including the physical move to college, the stress and demands of college, and the new sense of self discipline and self reliance that come with college life.
Winter is typically the time when people begin to feel stuck in a rut and cannot pinpoint why. Some of this has simply to do with a lack of exposure to sunlight.
Combating any type of depression can be difficult, especially when it is out of your control, such as the “fall back” to standard time, as well as the “spring forward” to daylight saving time.
Eliminating the time changes should help.
If you are feeling symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, psychiatrists recommend seeking professional help.