Daylight Saving Time Bad for Your Health?


From Live Science:

“We are placing these people back into February. We are dealing with a public health issue and the extension of Daylight Saving Time at both ends is extending the period of year in which people are most vulnerable to depression.”
—Michael Terman, Columbia University Medical Center


Daylight Saving Time effectively snatches a morning hour and adds it to your evenings. That means 7 a.m. Daylight Saving Time is equivalent to 6 a.m. standard time, so your typically sunlit mornings will be dark. The morning darkness could keep your biological clock in winter mode.

“We know for the population as a whole that depressive symptoms become worse during the winter months,” Terman said.

Winter blues, affecting about 35 million Americans, are a mild form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects as many as 12 million Americans. Symptoms of SAD include depression, sleep problems, cravings for sweets and other carbohydrates, sluggishness and headaches. The doldrums begin to ramp up some time in the fall and typically remit by the second week of May, Terman said.

“We are making the sun rise even an hour later than it otherwise would during a period when these symptoms should be beginning to improve,” Terman said in a telephone interview.

It’s funny, when daylight saving time starts every spring, I do feel a little more sluggish than usual at first, and I’m also bitter about losing that extra hour of sleep. That first week is pretty damn hellish.

But, on the bright side, when things start to warm up in April and May, there’s nothing better than being able to be outside eating and consuming cocktails until 8:00 or 9:00 PM. It’s good practice for the summer when DST, allows us even more hours of outdoor evening fun.

I love sunset bocce ball at 9:30 in June, so I guess I’m able to suffer an irritating week in March.


2 responses to “Daylight Saving Time Bad for Your Health?

  1. I was similarly put out to lose that precious hour of sleep Saturday night.

    But I wasn’t complaining last night as I was standing over the grill post 7:00, cocktail in hand…..

  2. Nice!

    I’m envious of your warm weather, but yeah, that kind of feeling is the best thing about DST.

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