The Connection between Depression and Daylight Saving Time

By Megan Morrow
Published October 28, 2019

While more than 70 countries across the globe recognize Daylight Saving Time, the practice of moving our clocks back one hour the first Sunday in November, not everyone is a fan of the practice. Turning back the clocks can affect our mental, physical and emotional health, reducing sleep while increasing instances of cardiac issues, strokes and car accidents over the first several weeks as we adjust to the shift.

Further, people who already cope with depression can struggle even more without the mood-enhancing effects of ample sunlight. While Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression connected to Daylight Saving Time and seasonal changes, those who face depression year-round sometimes feel the winter blues in full force following the time change. Both SAD and depression can lead to issues such as low energy, changes in appetite, social withdrawal, difficulty focus and more.

To combat seasonal depression, people often turn to exercise, light therapy (via a light box as well as additional exposure to sunlight), adjustments in medication and even trips to warmer locales to soak up some sun. Those who are already meeting with a therapist should let their provider know if they are suffering more due to Daylight Saving Time.

If you think you are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, anxiety or something else, please reach out. You never need to experience this alone.

Otherwise, reducing technology (screens, in particular) at least an hour before bedtime can support a better sleep routine. Time spent outdoors, a healthy diet and preparation ahead of time can also support people’s mental and physical health.

While Arizona and Hawaii, two states which are closer to the equator and experience less shift in sunrise and sunsets, already ignore Daylight Saving Time, more and more states are considering following suit. Originally implemented as a way of saving energy, Daylight Saving Time has recently been shown to have negligible, if any, affect to this end.

We want to hear from you

Do you have a topic suggestion for an article in a future issue of Sims Insights newsletter? We would love to hear from you. Share your ideas here.

The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.

Do you receive our

Private Client Newsletter?

HJ Sims Video Series

HJ Sims Culture