Daylight Saving Time and Our Psyche

Daylight Saving Time and Our Psyche

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting clocks forward by one hour during the spring months, and then setting them back by one hour in the winter. While it was originally intended to save energy and make better use of daylight hours, some people believe that it has a negative effect on our psyche. In this blog, we'll explore what Daylight-Saving Time really does to our psyche.

Daylight Savings Time and our Psyche

First, let's look at the history of DST. The idea of changing the clocks to save energy was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, but it wasn't until World War I that it was implemented in some countries. The idea was to save energy by using more daylight hours, and it was believed that it would also improve public health by giving people more time to spend outdoors. Today, more than 70 countries around the world practice DST.

Now, let's examine how DST affects our psyche. One of the main arguments against DST is that it disrupts our circadian rhythm, which is our internal biological clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When we set the clocks forward by one hour, we lose an hour of sleep, and our bodies must adjust to a new schedule. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Additionally, studies have shown that the risk of heart attacks increases in the days following the switch to DST.

Another way that DST affects our psyche is by disrupting our schedules. When the clocks change, it can take some time to adjust to the new schedule, and this can lead to a feeling of disorientation. Our bodies are used to certain routines, and when those routines are disrupted, it can cause stress and anxiety. This is especially true for people who have a history of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

DST can have an impact on our mood. Some people feel happier and more energized during the longer days of summer, while others feel more depressed and anxious during the shorter days of winter. When we switch back and forth between DST and standard time, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent mood, and this can lead to feelings of confusion and frustration.

While the original intention of DST was to save energy and promote public health, it's important to consider the potential negative effects on our mental health. If you're someone who struggles with the time change, there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier. You can try adjusting your sleep schedule in the days leading up to the change, and you can try to maintain a consistent routine. By being mindful of the potential effects of DST, we can take steps to minimize its impact on our mental health.