While most of the country tries to adjust after turning back the clock this weekend, it’s business as usual in Arizona. Our state is one of only two (Hawaii being the other) that doesn’t recognize daylight saving time (DST). And from a health perspective…..that might be a good thing!
Even though setting the clocks back during winter leads to an extra hour of sleep, the added hour of darkness in the evening is harder to handle, according to a new study.
Depression cases at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark increased immediately after the transition from daylight saving time, the study says. An analysis of 185,419 severe depression diagnoses from 1995 to 2012 showed an 11% increase during this time period. The cases dissipated gradually after 10 weeks.
MedicalDaily.com put together a short video to explain the history behind DST. You can click here or on the picture below to watch it.
And CBS News offered some tips from the American Psychological Association to help folks deal with the winter blues.
- Experience as much daylight as possible. The lack of exposure to the sun is a major catalyst for Seasonal Associative Disorder (SAD), so getting out during the day as much as you can may help lessen symptoms.
- Keep active. Avoid staying cooped up in your house all winter.
- Choose your foods wisely. Though indulging in sugary treats and high-carb comfort food can be tempting – especially around the holidays – try to keep yourself in check.
- Seek professional help. If you continue to struggle with feelings of depression, you may want to consider seeing a mental health professional.
So, why doesn’t Arizona recognize daylight saving time? According to KPNX-TV in Phoenix…..
DST started when “war time” was established in the U.S. in 1918 to save fuel during World War I.
In Arizona, Maricopa County supervisors refused to accept the change. In 1919, Phoenix and the rest of the state observed different time zones.
War time, or daylight-saving time, was reinstated in World War II. It was brought back permanently in the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
Arizona participated for one summer. Then we realized what an awful idea it was to have more sunlight in the evening. Longer sunlight means more air conditioning and more energy used. And more misery.
In a nearly unanimous vote, Arizona legislators agreed to opt out of daylight-saving time in 1967.
It’s also important to note, the Navajo nation does recognize daylight saving time so some parts of our state are an hour behind the rest of it through the winter. That said….at least 11 states are considering following Arizona’s lead and dropping the clock change. What do you think about our state’s trendsetting approach? Is it better for health? After all, finding ways to keep Arizonans healthy is another step toward our long-term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!