DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Sunday, Nov. 5 marks the end of Daylight Saving Time.
For some, “falling back” is a welcomed response to the sun going down earlier in the day. But for others, this change can intensify pre-existing conditions like depression and anxiety.
“Research shows that changing the clock, either forward or backward, does not cause mental health problems. But what it can do is exacerbate the symptoms for individuals who already are trying to manage their anxiety or depression.” said Tina Rezash Rogal, director of strategic initiatives and communications for Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS).
Time changes can cause disruptions to daily routines, sleep schedules, social plans, and outdoor activities.
“When sleep is messed up or sunlight is not being, you know, normal amounts of sunlight and being outside along with many other protective factors, we’re just less likely to be able to regulate as quickly, if at all.” said Brianna Sheridan, licensed professional clinical counselor and regional clinic director for Thriveworks.
Mental health experts recommend avoiding isolating yourself during the winter. Getting exercise, spending time outside in the morning, and light therapies can be helpful.
“So grab some friends or neighbors or your family members or your dog and get outside and still continue to get that walk. We have lots of parks in the area too, that are also safe places where you can get out and walk.” Rogal says.
November 5 could be one of the last times that clocks change in the U.S., since the Senate reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act in March. The act would extend Daylight Saving Time to the entire year.
Currently, federal law prohibits states from enacting permanent daylight saving time.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health crisis this winter, call the National Crisis Call Center at 988 or 833-773-2445.