Setting Your Clock Back an Hour May Have Also Set Back Your Mood
The recent change from daylight saving time to standard time can also set back some people's mood. The good news, for many, the fix can be pretty simple.
A report from WPVI-TV found the fall time change causes us to lose an hour of daylight in the evening. Most people adjust to the changes within a few days. For others, the change can cause the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
According to Scott Bea, Psy.D., at the Cleveland Clinic,
It's very common for folks predisposed to seasonal affective disorder to start experiencing sluggishness, feelings of sleepiness, really craving sleep, start to crave carbohydrates, maybe gain a little weight, start to feel a little more irritable."
Bea says the time change can cause the brain to produce more melatonin, leading to feeling tired and wanting to sleep more. In some cases, the chemical change can lead to depression or depression-like mood swings.
If your'e feeling a little down, then get moving. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, rake some leaves or do something you enjoy that requires physical activity. It doesn't even have to be strenuous. This causes the body to release other chemicals which help counteract and slow the production of the extra melatonin.
Light therapy has also proven successful for people with more severe cases of SAD. Your doctor is a great resource to help find out if light therapy is a treatment option. If the symptoms persist, the doctor also has other ways to help you beat the time change blues.