Many triggered by seasonal depression after daylight saving time

Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 17:55:13-05

BOISE, Idaho — Recently we set our clocks back an hour in observance of daylight saving time. While some enjoy the extra hour of sleep, others dread the time change.

“Im super active, so when that daylight depletes, I feel unmotivated to do things like my hobbies and things like that, because that’s what keeps me happy and keeps me sane,” said Zach Hudson.

For many people, the winter hours can affect people's mood, making them more depressed, anxious, and upset because of the sudden change. Triggering seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression mainly caused by the change in sunlight.

“There seems to be a correlation with the destruction of vitamin D production but also with melatonin. The longer the dark hours are during the day and night, the more melatonin we produce,” said Dr. Devin Merritt, a Psychologist at St. Luke’s.

Zach Hudson, who works long days, has noticed a change in his mood. He says the recent time change makes him lethargic due to the lack of sunlight when he gets off work.

“I just sleep. I get super tired, my day is done, and it's 7:30 at night,” said Zach Hudson.

Doctor Devin Merritt, a Psychologist at St. Luke's, has some suggestions for managing feelings of depression.

“Set a plan to either stick to a more regular routine or to increase your level of behavioral activation. So set that plan, and follow the plan, not the mood,” said Dr. Devin Merritt.

Following the plan and not the mood can prevent people from talking themselves out of doing activities they would usually enjoy when not depressed.