CNN

Daylight Saving Time has ended. Here’s how to make the most of your time and combat seasonal mental health issues

Nov 7, 2021, 11:28 AM
B. BOISSONNET/Adobe Stock Photo...
B. BOISSONNET/Adobe Stock Photo

(CNN) — You’ve turned back your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, but what now?

Many people look forward to that extra hour of sleep, but it’s not enough to erase chronic sleep debt, said Dr. Kannan Ramar, professor of medicine at the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

However, the additional hour of rest could have you waking up feeling more refreshed, which may motivate you to get more shut-eye, he said.

This is a great time to implement healthy “sleep hygiene” practices, which will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep, Ramar said.

Set up a sleep routine

He recommended going to sleep around the same time each night, making sure you’re going to sleep early enough to get seven to eight hours of rest.

In the 30 minutes before bedtime, begin shutting off electronics to limit your exposure to light, Ramar explained.

If after 20 minutes you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and do a quiet activity like meditation, he said. This is not the time to jump back on your electronics, he warned.

Avoid eating a large meal before bedtime, and cut off your caffeine intake in the afternoon, Ramar advised. Make sure to reduce your fluid intake before bed and avoid alcohol around this time, he added.

If those tips do not work for you, Ramar recommended you speak to a medical professional.

A rise in seasonal affective disorder

As the nights grow longer and the weather becomes bleaker in parts of the country, people may develop seasonal affective disorder. It’s a specific type of depression that often begins in the fall and ends in the spring, said Michelle Drerup, director of behavioral sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center in Ohio.

Some common symptoms include irritability, extreme fatigue, inability to concentrate, carbohydrate cravings, anxiety, and withdrawal from social activities, she said.

The time change from Daylight Saving Time ending can trigger SAD, Drerup said.

A study published in 2017 found there was an 11% increase in the number of seasonal depressive episodes at the end of daylight saving.

Light exposure boosts mood

People with seasonal affective disorder should try to expose themselves to bright, natural light when possible, said Dr. Bhanu Prakash Kolla, an addiction psychiatrist and sleep physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The rays of light increase the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, known as the “happy hormone.”

Those in gloomier parts of the country can use a light box to mimic sunlight, he said.

If you notice the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are significantly impacting your ability to function for more than two weeks, Drerup recommended seeing a doctor. A medical professional can help diagnose you, evaluate for other possible mental health conditions, and provide a personalized treatment plan.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

A car crashed into an Apple store in Hingham on Monday. Photo credit: WBZ....
Amir Vera, Michelle Watson and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

1 dead, at least 19 injured after car drives through Massachusetts Apple store

Authorities in Massachusetts say one person was killed nearly 20 others were injured Monday after a vehicle drove through an Apple store.
9 days ago
LGBTQ club shooting...
Elizabeth Wolfe, Holly Yan and Amanda Watts, CNN

Police have identified the 5 people killed in Colorado Springs LGBTQ club shooting

    (CNN) — [Breaking news update, published at 5:55 p.m. ET] Police have identified the deceased victims of the Colorado Springs shooting as Raymond Green Vance, Ashley Paugh, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump. A news conference about the shooting is ongoing. Related: The Beehive State reacts to Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub shooting [Previous story, published […]
9 days ago
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 20: People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club...
CNN

Mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ club leaves 5 dead and destroys a coveted sense of safety

The shooting an at LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs destroyed a building sense of safety in communities around the world.
9 days ago
Whole Roasted Turkey Dinner For Thanksgiving with All the Sides (Adobe stock)...
Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN Business

Thanksgiving dinner will cost 20% more this year because of inflation

A feast for 10 with 12 menu items including a turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie mix will cost $64.05 on average — up $10.74 from last year. That breaks down to about $6.50 per person, according to the annual survey.
9 days ago
Philip and Rachel Ridgeway have had twins born from embryos that were frozen for 30 years. 

Permis...
Jen Christensen and Nadia Kounang, CNN

Parents welcome twins from embryos frozen 30 years ago

The embryos were created for an anonymous married couple using in-vitro fertilization. The husband was in his early 50s, and they used a 34-year-old egg donor.
9 days ago
two more utahns have been arrested, US capitol attack commission...
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN Associated Press

Man gets jail for joining Capitol riot after Tinder date

A Delaware man owner has been sentenced to 30 days of incarceration for storming the U.S. Capitol after seeing it on a Tinder date's television and taking an Uber ride to join the mob's attack, court records show.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Daylight Saving Time has ended. Here’s how to make the most of your time and combat seasonal mental health issues