Don’t let the dark get you down: ways to combat winter darkness blues

By Riley Dauber
Elm Staff Writer

We experienced Daylight Savings Time on Nov. 7 this year by turning the clocks back an hour.

Although it occurs every year, many people still struggle with adjusting to Daylight Savings Time, as the sun sets sooner, plunging the world into darkness.

To help survive the winter months in accordance with the holiday, here are a few helpful tips.

Set Your Clocks

A key part of leaving Daylight Savings Time is turning the clock back an hour, meaning we gain an hour based on when the sun sets.

While some clocks turn back automatically, you may find yourself waking up with the wrong time on your clock.

Your phones should adjust accordingly, but the clocks in your car or on your microwave may still be an hour ahead.

 Make sure to check any clock that may affect your daily routine; if you climb in the car and do not make the connection, you may think you are running an hour late.

Invest in a Sun Lamp if Necessary

One suggestion for those struggling with seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder is to invest in a sun lamp to be used for light therapy.

The lamps can be placed near your work station, and will omit a light that is meant to replicate the sun’s light.

They are helpful now that the sun sets much sooner than usual.

However, talk with your doctor before deciding if you need a sun lamp, as light therapy may not be recommended for everyone.

If your doctor approves you using one, there are inexpensive ones on Amazon.

According to Corey Whelan, a writer for Healthline, “SAD lamps simulate sunlight, which helps trigger the brain to release serotonin. Studies show that using light therapy during periods when daylight hours are short can help adjust your circadian rhythm.”

Take Vitamin D Supplements

As the sun sets sooner, you may find yourself staying inside more, meaning you are possibly not getting enough vitamin D.

According to the Centrum website, “Strong sunlight triggers vitamin D production in your skin…many people do not produce the required vitamin D [because] they don’t spend enough time outside.”

To solve this issue, visit your local Walgreens and pick up a vitamin D supplement. They come in both gummy and softgel form. 

Be Mindful of the Dark

As college students, it is necessary to be mindful of the dark, especially if you plan on traveling at night.

Now that the sun sets around 4:30 p.m., it will be dark outside when it is time to head to dinner or a club meeting.

If you feel unsafe, try to find a friend that will walk with you, or contact a Public Safety officer.

It is best to plan ahead, so knowing where you are going and who you are going with is important when walking around campus after dark.

Maintain a Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a proper sleep schedule is great advice all year round, but it is especially important now considering how early the sun sets.

If you are the type of person who loves being awake when the sun is out, it may be best to go to bed earlier so you can wake up early in the morning and savor the sunlight.

Regardless of your lifestyle choices, try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day.

Hopefully, these tips gave you some insight into how to adjust to the early darkness.

It is certainly strange to see the campus plunged into darkness so soon, but eventually it will become a part of our daily routine.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr
Featured Photo Caption: For many across the nation, daylight savings is nothing more than a hinderance. Many have advocated for to begin to phase out the practice, and states such as Hawaii have gotten rid of it entirely.

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