How to Adjust to Daylight Savings

Is Daylight Savings Time Depressing?

Daylight Savings Time just ended, and for many it is truly depressing…but maybe for a different reason than you think. Yes, the one hour time difference may impact sleep, mood, and mental clarity a bit, but our bodies will adjust to the 60 minute shift. The reason that this time of year leads to depression is lack of sunlight. Most of us will spend less and less time in the sun over the next six months, which impacts the brain’s production of melatonin —  the sleep hormone. Daytime sluggishness and depression is often the result.

Here are four ways to help you adjust your inner clock and fight the winter blues:

  1. Get Sunlight – Walking to and from your car does not count as spending time outside. To ensure you get the sunlight you need, take a walk at lunchtime, open your car window/sunroof on a bright day, and try to get a few extra rays on the weekends. (If you don’t think you can get enough of the real stuff, consider light therapy.)
  2. Excercise – People who exercise regularly have more energy during the day and sleep better at night. It’s a no-brainer!
  3. Establish a Bedtime Routine – There is a reason children have bedtime rituals. They work. Having a routine that doesn’t include screens (unless you are reading a great book on your Kindle) helps create space between your hectic day and bedtime, and will allow you to fall asleep more easily.
  4. Eat Right – Your food intake affects everything — energy, brain power, health, digestion, sleep, and mood. Pay attention to what you are eating and when, so you can enjoy the benefits of good nutrition and avoid the crashes that come from sugar, junk food, and empty calories.

And, if you can work it in, take a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny this winter. =)

By Kristen Thibeault

keven

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