Ending daylight saving time benefits mental health

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. 

The University of La Verne offers free counseling via  the Counseling and Psychology Services center. For more information call 909-448-4105 or email caps@laverne.edu to schedule an appointment.

Related articles

Student-athletes not immune to mental health crisis

Waking up early in the morning, having classes from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., then heading to the weight room, then straight to practice until about 7 p.m., doing homework until the middle of the night, and repeating it all the next day. That is a typical day in the life of a student-athlete in college.

The loneliness epidemic: A silent battle

An overwhelming feeling, a crushing weight in her chest, a persistent lump in her throat and the urge to cry for no apparent reason are the physical manifestations of loneliness that plagues Julia Tenan, a senior psychology and criminal justice minor at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut.

Fair kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month

The Campus Activities Board hosted a Mental Health Fair on Tuesday on the Citrus Lawn to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month which started Wednesday. 

Voters to decide on mental health services

California voters will help decide the fate of the state’s mental health services in next week’s election.
Exit mobile version