Daylight Saving Time Ends: How 'Falling Back' Impacts Mental Health

In a new survey, one in five Americans said they're negatively impacted by the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Friday, November 3rd 2023, 9:04 am

By: News On 6


For most Americans, this Sunday means the clock "falls back." That means it'll get darker earlier.

In fact, 28 percent of people who live in rural areas say the time change affects their mental health.

Greg Robinson has mixed feelings about turning the clocks back, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time. He likes that extra hour of sleep.

"When I lose an hour of sunlight, I don't like that," Robinson said.

Neither does Alberto Parajon.

"In the winter time it gets darker 5 or 6. I'd much rather it get dark at 7," Parajon said.

Dr. Petros Levounis with the American Psychiatric Association said it's not just inconvenient. The time change could affect your mental health.

In a new survey, one in five Americans said they're negatively impacted by it.

"This is a very, very high number of people who actually say that the change in time will give them some depression, some discomfort, some uneasiness," said Dr. Levounis.

According to the survey, two-thirds of adults said they notice at least one behavioral change from sleeping more (31%), to feeling fatigued (25%), or depressed (23%).

"The poll also found women are nearly twice as likely as men to say their mental health has been negatively affected by the fall time change," Dr. Levounis said.

Dr. Levounis warns some people may develop Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"There are also people who are going to have a more severe form of this winter blues; feeling lonely, feeling depressed, stop having interest in the things that gave you pleasure," Dr. Levounis explained.

He recommends spending more time outdoors even as the daylight hours decrease. Frequent outdoor exercise and taking breaks to experience the daylight are some of the ways you can ward off those winter blues.

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