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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My Love-Hate Relationship with Daylight Savings Time by Sarah Raplee

I love the first day of Spring for many reasons—for example, Spring and Fall are my favorite times of the year—but I love the second day of the season even more. On the second day of Spring there are finally more minutes of light than of darkness after the long, dark winter months. What I call “the Dark of the Year” is over.

As a person who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Seasonal Depression, the more minutes and hours of daylight, the better I feel. Until the days get long enough to remedy my symptoms of increased pain, irritability and sadness; brain fog; a lack of energy and motivation; and a decreased ability to cope with stress, every morning I sit in front of what I call my ‘Happy Light’. 

This lamp produces a special bright light that mimics sunlight. I sit in this artificial sunlight for ten to thirty minutes, depending on how short the days are. The bright light stimulates my body to produce the hormones and neurochemicals I need to function more-or-less normally.

NATURE BRIGHT LAMP
That being said, I dread the change from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time in Spring and the second one back to Standard Time in Fall. If it were up to me (which of course it isn’t), we would remain on Daylight Savings Time all year. I can cope with darkness in the mornings much better than I can cope with an early sunset. (In fact, for many people, being awake at sunrise helps to mitigate SAD). I have a bad couple of weeks after these time changes.

Research has shown that a lot of energy is saved when we are on Daylight Savings Time. Unfortunately research has also shown that adapting to getting up an hour earlier during the changeover from Standard Time is very hard on us poor humans both physically and mentally. For example, there are more auto accidents in the two weeks after the Spring time change than during any other two-week period during the year. (This year we almost lost a close relative in one of those accidents when he nodded off at the wheel.)


According to the Fox News article Seven Ways Daylight Saving Time Can Affect Your Health, rates of strokes and cluster headaches increase around the changeovers in both Spring and Fall. People report being very fatigued during after the Spring changeover and productivity is decreased.

I say let’s save energy all year round and forgo the stressful changeover periods! We humans created the artificial constructs of Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time. We can choose to remain in Daylight Saving Time all year round.


Do the time changeovers cause problems for you or someone you know? ~ Sarah Raplee

6 comments:

Annie long said...

I've heard it was originally supposed to help save energy and has proven not to--- don't know anyone who appreciates it anymore--- especially me...

Diana McCollum said...

I don't suffer from "SAD". I get more depressed on rainy, cloudy days. As far as Day light Savings time I think it would be better to keep it one time all the time. I think Originally it was the farmers who wanted more daylight. It usually takes me 2-3 days till I've adjusted. I go to bed an hour early or an hour later depending on the time year, and still wake up 8 hours later. Very informative post.

Sarah Raplee said...

Actually it does save energy during the longer days of the year.So I say keep Daylight Saving Time all year around.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for stopping by, Diana and Annie!

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

I would prefer to stay on Standard Time all year. I want more daylight in the morning. I find it easier to get up early when it is light out. I use to suffer from SAD. Until I went on the Paleo diet five years ago. I no longer have the problem and gave the light I had to my daughter.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Thank you for sharing I'd heard of SAD but never knew anyone experiencing it until now. An artificial light actually helps. I've learned something.