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Daylight Savings: We Lost An Hour Of Sleep And I’m So Much Happier

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

At 1:59 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, like many other 19-year-olds, I was awake browsing my phone when the clock jumped to 3 a.m. signifying the start of longer days ahead. Daylight savings now has the sun setting after 7 p.m., and it will only set later and later as we move into the spring and summer months.

Despite being an idea formulated by Benjamin Franklin while he was living in Paris, France, Germany was the first country to use daylight savings in an attempt to reduce energy costs during World War I. The United States then followed behind a few years later. Even businesses now argue that daylight savings helps drive the economy.

As I walked out of my club meeting at around 7 p.m. today, I was greeted by a beautiful golden hour as opposed to the dreary dark sky that I had become accustomed to. With a smile on my face and my winter coat nowhere in sight, I enjoyed the walk back to my apartment complex.

Behind all of the snow days and holiday decorations, many people deal with some form of seasonal depression, formally known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), during the winter months. The lack of sunlight can reduce serotonin levels in the brain, and it may disrupt your circadian rhythm (body’s biological clock), both of which can lead to feelings of depression.

For college students, between the lack of sleep, exams, finances, etc., it can be difficult to maintain consistency in our lives while navigating how to live on our own for the first time. Seasonal depression can amplify those difficulties through an array of symptoms such as trouble concentrating, lack of energy, weight gain, feelings of worthlessness and a loss of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed.

However, with the lost hour of sleep, comes brighter days ahead. The signification of the end of darker days that daylight savings is, can help these feelings start to dissipate.

Personally, the small amount of sun brought me so much joy, dragging me out of that dreariness I’ve felt all winter. I felt productive and more in control of my life than I had in a long time. My motivation was at a high all thanks to a sliver of sunshine.

Sacrificing an hour of beauty sleep doesn’t sound too bad knowing how much happier I get during the weeks that follow.

If you’re like me, you are excited for spring weather, lounging around in the grass, the smell of flowers lingering in the air and the nice glow the sun is bound to bring to my skin. Spring is known to be a time of growth and new beginnings and I plan to do exactly that for myself. I plan to use these recent feelings of productivity to work hard in school, better my friendships and work on being a happier, healthier version of myself. Of course, all while soaking up the sun.

If you are struggling, know you are not alone. Seek help when you need it and remember that what you are feeling isn’t permanent. Here is a link to resources for college students in each state, as well as general resources if you feel yourself or someone you know may benefit from them.

Lara is a junior studying Digital and Print Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. Aside from Her Campus, she writes for other campus organizations and is a member of Penn State's Blue and White Society. In her free time, she enjoys reading, making Spotify playlists, watching movies, and spending time with friends.