PENNSYLVANIA, USA — You might have woken up feeling more rested Sunday morning with the end of daylight saving time.
However, it’s not just earlier sunrises and darker evenings. "Falling back" and "springing forward" can have a greater impact on your everyday life.
FOX43 spoke to the Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry at WellSpan Dr. J.P. Shand about how changing the clock can impact your health.
Q: What are some of the mental impacts of Daylight Saving Time ending?
“There are several studies that show that seasonal affective disorder rates increase in people who are already prone to changes in exposure to light," Dr. Shand. "That can include depression and anxiety, "
Q: What are some of the physical effects of Daylight Saving Time ending?
“There are some physical studies that have shown that there is an increase in heart attacks after Daylight Savings Time," Dr. Shand. "We can see changes in our habits during the day. So when we're eating, when we're naturally getting up or naturally feeling tired. And those kinds of alterations can really have effects on your day-to-day activities and the way you feel.”
Q: How can people better adjust?
“You should really be doing the activities that you were doing before," Dr. Shand said. "So really make sure that you're still keeping tabs on the amount of exercise that you're doing, the amount of light that you're exposing yourself to and really getting outdoors, which are all very healthy things."
"You want to at least start to pre-plan, what activities you're going to do, how am I going to get outside during the winter, and during the dark?"
Q: Are there benefits to Daylight Saving Time?
"Well, if you look at the idea of across the map where the sun falls and you didn't have daylight saving time, some of them would have a sunrise at 9 a.m.," Dr. Shand said. "Science kind of fleshes out that daylight in the morning is more important than daylight in the evening."
Dr. Shand also says if you have loved ones who are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, or changes in mental status due to things like Alzheimer's and sundowning is important to check on them during the transition.
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