Daylight Saving Time and your health

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Odessa, TEXAS (Big 2/Fox 24) – We’re in Daylight Saving Time, so we gained an hour on Sunday. This can affect people differently. For this week’s WesTex segment, Doctor Terry Beck from WesTex Urgent Care explains how the change in time can impact your health. It can have some benefits. 

“If you have younger kids, it’s probably easier to get them to bed when it gets dark earlier. Get them to bed on time, because during the summer time if it doesn’t get dark until 9 or 9:30, those kids want to be up and running around and stuff,” says WesTex Urgent Care’s Dr. Terry Beck

 Plus, an extra hour of sleep can be helpful. Doctor Beck says having enough rest is good for your immune system and your energy levels.  But there can be some negative consequences of daylight saving time. 

 “Some people may feel sluggish, they may feel like it gets dark at 6 o’clock, so I’m going to go to bed at 7 o’clock. They may not feel like getting things done. But most people… everybody’s different. I can’t stress that enough,” says Dr. Beck.  

As we get shorter days, we get less sunlight. That can cause people to feel sad or lose interest in what they normally like to do. 

 “Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression related to the shorter days and having less hours of daylight, there is treatment for it. They make lights that you can have in your house, if you’re doing something you can place them near you and they will make your body think that it is sunlight. So it can help treat that, treat the cause,” says Dr. Beck.

 The doctor says some people may need to take vitamin D supplements because of the lack of sunlight. He explains that many people don’t know when they’re lacking vitamin D, so you may need a blood test to be sure that’s an issue. Others may need medication for their Seasonal Affective Disorder. Everybody reacts different to the time change. But if you’re having a hard time adapting, contact your primary care provider. 

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