Could Daylight Savings be a Major Cause of Depression?
It’s that time of year again for Daylight Savings Time (DST) to begin and depression might not be far behind. Every year, many people are faced with the dreaded “spring forward” change, leaving them feeling groggy and out of sorts. But could DST cause even more severe consequences than just a lack of energy? Studies suggest that this twice-yearly clock adjustment could be linked to increased depression. Let’s take a look at the research…
The Impact of DST on Sleep Patterns
Studies have shown that losing one hour of sleep in the spring is associated with an increased risk of depression and other mental health issues due to disrupted sleep patterns. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has stated that “even short-term disturbances of sleep can lead to significant impairments in daytime functioning, including those related to mood, concentration, alertness, productivity, and performance.” This disruption can cause us to feel sluggish, and zap our energy levels for up to five days after the transition.
Recent studies indicate that DST may also play a role in increasing suicide rates due to disrupted circadian rhythms—the body’s natural wake/sleep cycle—which can lead to feelings of depression or hopelessness. One study found that suicide rates were higher during the days following DST transitions than during any other time of the year. According to researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, “Our findings suggest that daylight saving time transitions have real effects on mental health outcomes such as suicide” and that further investigation is needed into how these transitions are impacting people’s mental health overall.
Researchers have also suggested that there is a link between DST and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is characterized by low moods during certain times of year—particularly during the late fall and winter months when daylight hours are shorter and darkness sets in earlier. While it’s impossible to say definitively whether changing clocks twice a year causes SAD, it does seem plausible given what we know about how light impacts our psychological well-being.
While research into the connection between DST and depression is still ongoing, there is evidence suggesting that the spring forward/fall back switch could be having an adverse effect on our mental health. For now, try to make sure you get plenty of rest ahead of DST changes, so you don’t suffer too much from its effects!
Contact Tahoe Ketamine
If you are struggling to catch up with the latest DST change, contact Tahoe Ketamine. We offer many IV hydration infusions that are designed to boost energy and help the body recover from a variety of external factors. If you struggle with depression—whether related to DST or not—we offer ketamine infusions for qualified patients. Find out if you are a candidate and request a free consultation using the brief form below.