Transitioning from daylight saving time could increase depression

(CNN)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.
    Because of how it affects circadian rhythms, the time transition has a similar impact to jet lag: decreased concentration, alertness, performance, information and memory recall.

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    To combat the lethargy and depression that may accompany this transition, Oexman recommends decreasing alcohol and caffeine intake this weekend. They can also alter circadian rhythms.
    Like Rosenthal, Oexman also suggests combining light exposure, exercise and socialization to keep the winter blues from taking hold.
    "If you do all the right things and get on the right schedule quickly, you can successfully shift your circadian clock one hour in one day, and you'll be fine in a day or two," Oexman said.

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