Some things

​to think about


Daylight savings time, also known as every parent’s worst nightmare, takes our whole routine and says “Nope.” You always think one little hour won’t matter that much, especially when it means an extra hour of sleep. But this biannual desynchronization isn’t so easy for our internal clocks. Daylight savings time says “Nope,” and our circadian rhythm responds with “Whoa!”

We blame the “fall back” for a lot of the fatigue we feel for a few weeks after the clock changes, but is it a sign of something more?

As it turns out, this sneaky one-hour-time-difference can pack a powerful punch. The mild disruption to your routine can have a major effect on your mood. The shorter days increase rates of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a disorder that creeps up on you gradually and can be really difficult to pinpoint since the trigger is so subtle.

Extended Darkness = Sleepy + Irritated

Daylight savings time can trigger underlying health disorders like depression. The human body has an internal clock (circadian rhythm) that cycles us through periods of wakefulness and sleep each day. Our internal clocks are set based upon our exposure to sunlight. In the morning, sunlight through the window sends a message to our brains saying it’s time to wake up. At night, the darkness signals sleep. During fall and winter, this natural pattern is disrupted.

The days become shorter. The darkness lingers. Why does it feel like it starts getting dark around lunch? It’s no wonder our internal body clocks are thrown off.

“Some people can make the transition more easily than others during daylight savings time,” said Jordan Blaine, PMHNP, at bonmente. “Winter depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and depression can range from mild to debilitating, but the first step is recognizing you are dealing with more than just a bad mood. You don’t have to accept the symptoms. There are effective treatments that can help.”

Steps To Make The Transition Easier 

The passionate debate continues as to whether or not we actually need to spring forward or fall back, but, for now, the clocks are doing their semi-annual shift on Nov. 7, 2021. To fight fatigue and low mood, start preparing now for the changes ahead with these helpful tips.

  • Ease into earlier bedtimes. This is especially important for parents. The sooner your entire family can get into a healthy sleep routine, the better!
  • Eat smart to fuel your body and brain. Sugar and sweetened drinks like soda have a direct link to depression. We love a mini candy bar as much as the next person, but the reality is that all of that Halloween candy is bringing us down. Fuel your body and brain with nutritious foods to boost your mood and keep you going.
  • Get moving. Bonus points if you can exercise outside to soak up the sunlight. Studies have shown that 15 minutes of sunlight twice a day during the cold months significantly reduces depressive symptoms, especially in people with SAD.
  • Find support. There are many effective therapies when it comes to SAD and depression. Don’t try to self-diagnose or muscle through another season.


Fight Depression From The Cozy of Home

Finding convenient, hassle-free care shouldn’t be difficult. bonmente offers telepsychiatry services that are convenient, confidential, and as comprehensive as in-person appointments. With just a couple of clicks, from either your computer or your smartphone, you can be at your appointment with your bonmente provider, getting the care you need without any of the traditional hassle. Reach out today to find support for SAD, depression, or anxiety that may be triggered by the upcoming time change.