March 10, 2024
daylight savings time


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Daylight Savings Time is more important to us seniors than most of our families know. 

We love the extra daylight because it reminds us that summer’s coming and that we will soon be out of school. 

We, once again applaud Mother Earth for never failing us but bursting forth with new beginnings year after year. 

We know it’s time to grow the garden, plant the seeds, and eat what we so carefully attend to. 

We love the family outings, the cousins we’re going to see again, the aunts and uncles who will visit.  We especially appreciate the secrets we share for we have waited a year to enjoy our picnics together. 

The animals are once again outdoors and we no longer are cooped up inside the barn picking up after them or scraping frozen soil when it’s so cold outdoors. 

And the smells! The first rain of the season. The first grass cutting. The tractors that beam with gas and oil. And the first trees that are full of flowers. 

Why Daylight Savings Time

Yes, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a seasonal adjustment where we change our clocks to make better use of daylight during the warmer months. It's a simple concept, but its impact on senior health shouldn't be underestimated. Let's delve deeper into why DST matters for us and how it can positively influence our well-being.

Imagine Martha, a 75-year-old retiree who enjoys spending time in her garden. During the winter months, when DST is not in effect, Martha often finds herself rushing to finish her gardening chores before darkness falls. However, once DST begins in the spring and the evenings become brighter, Martha can leisurely tend to her garden well into the evening, soaking up the natural light and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of gardening. This extended exposure to daylight helps regulate Martha's circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep quality and overall mood enhancement. Plus, she now goes out after dinner to garden some more and this continues to renew her energy. 

Similarly, consider Jack, a 70-year-old widower who lives alone. Jack used to feel isolated and lonely, especially during the darker winter months when evenings seemed to stretch on endlessly. However, with the onset of DST, Jack notices a positive change in his routine. He joins a local walking group that meets in the park during the extended daylight hours, allowing him to socialize with others while enjoying the health benefits of regular physical activity. The camaraderie and sense of community Jack experiences during these evening walks contribute to his improved mental well-being and overall happiness.

Jack no longer worries about slipping or sliding on ice. He doesn’t notice his arthritis like he does in the cold months. Jack is glad to be outside and the sun warms his soul. 

Super-Agers use DST to their benefit

So, let's explore some specific reasons why DST is important for senior who want incredible health:

  • Extended Daylight Exposure: The primary purpose of DST is to provide more daylight in the evenings, which benefits seniors in several ways. For example, increased exposure to natural light helps regulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that influences sleep patterns. This regulation can lead to improved sleep quality and duration among seniors, which is essential for overall health and well-being.

  • Promotion of Outdoor Activities: Longer daylight hours in the evening encourage seniors to engage in outdoor activities such as walking, gardening, or participating in community events. For instance, imagine a group of retirees who gather at a local park for evening picnics and games during the summer months. These outdoor activities not only promote physical fitness but also foster social connections and a sense of belonging within the community.

  • Enhanced Mood and Mental Health: Sunlight exposure is closely linked to mood regulation and mental health. Seniors who have access to more daylight in the evenings may experience improved mood, reduced symptoms of depression, and increased feelings of happiness and well-being. For instance, imagine Sarah, an 80-year-old grandmother who loves sitting on her porch swing and watching the sunset. The extended daylight hours during DST allow Sarah to indulge in this simple pleasure, which uplifts her spirits and brings her a sense of contentment.

  • Social Engagement: DST facilitates increased social interaction among seniors, as brighter evenings encourage outdoor gatherings and leisure activities. Whether it's attending neighborhood barbecues, joining a gardening club, or simply taking evening strolls with friends, seniors have more opportunities to connect with others and combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

  • Healthier Sleep Patterns: While the transition into DST may disrupt sleep patterns temporarily, the overall effect can be beneficial for seniors' sleep health. By aligning their sleep-wake cycles with natural daylight patterns, seniors may experience more restful and rejuvenating sleep, leading to improved cognitive function and daytime alertness.

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As seniors, we often remember our most precious moments in life while we were outdoors. We rarely say, “I loved growing up reading a book.”  No, instead, we say. “I loved running the tractor with Dad.” Walking the dog through the fields. Out shopping with Mom all day at the market...

And don’t forget, the biggest treat of all…we got to stay up later because the sun stayed up later, too!

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  • About the Author

    Hi, I'm Suzanne. My passion is creating working knowledge to well-informed, well-prepared seniors and their families so they may enjoy the later years with health, wealth, and happiness, I've helped over 10,000 patients, seniors and their famlies like yourselves do just that through my courses, eBooks, the Senior Freedom Club™, and in my physician assistant medical practice.


    This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that has been read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution. Nor does this material constitute a provider-patient relationship between the reader and the author.