Daylight Savings Time vs Seasonal Affective Disorder

November 3, 2013 Liana M. Scott

We've just turned our clocks back marking the end of daylight savings time. While the nights will be darker sooner, the mornings will be brighter. For a short while. The truth is, with the end of DST comes the season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter depression).

Last week, I wrote about the three techniques I use to combat winter depression. Well, only time will tell - literally. Hey, I'm all for getting extra sleep. In fact, I look forward to the DST weekend a lot. I stay up a little bit longer knowing that I will get an extra hour of sleep. But, while the best things in life are free, there's no such thing as a free ride. Yes, I've just shamelessly combined two cliche sayings to make a point. Extra sleep is great but, knowing that extreme darkness in the mornings is just around the corner really sucks!

Light Therapy Helps Treat SAD

I suffer from chronic depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. It seems silly to list them as two different things when essentially, depression is depression, right? I list them separately because in the winter, I have to be extra vigilant in maintaining my wellness. I use light therapy to help combat the affects of SAD.

[caption id="attachment_1443" align="alignleft" width="280" caption="By SOMMAI, courtesy of"]The end of daylight savings time marks the beginning of the darkest days of the year and Seasonal Affective Disorder. That's when light therapy for SAD helps.[/caption]

So, what causes Seasonal Affective Disorder, anyway? It has to do with a disruption in our circadian rhythm (our 24-hour biological clock). When bright light (as from sunlight) enters the eyes in the morning, the rhythm is set appropriately (for the individual). When we don't get enough sunlight in the morning, some people's rhythms get wonky and they end up suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. The best defense against SAD (some studies state) is the use of light therapy.

The video on how I use my SAD lamp (which I posted last week) is embedded again below. I got a lot of responses on last week's blog and video so I thought, given that DST just passed, it would be worthwhile to revisit the topic.

The end of daylight savings time brings with it a short reprieve. For now, I'm going to visit some travel booking websites to dream about warm, bright places like the Mayan Riviera and Cabo San Lucas and St. Maarten and so on. Like I said at the beginning, the best things in life (like dreaming) are free. I just better first ask my husband to hide my credit card or I may soon find myself combating SAD symptoms on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean! That wouldn't be so bad, would it?

APA Reference
Scott, L. (2013, November 3). Daylight Savings Time vs Seasonal Affective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Liana M. Scott

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