10 Ways Daylight Saving Time Is Good For You

Sacrificing that hour of sleep may be worth it in the long run.

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Daylight Saving Time, also known as that horrible night in the spring when we lose an hour of sleep, has been the subject of both praise and criticism since it was first widely adopted in 1895. While waking up slightly under-slept after that 2:00 a.m. clock jump is hardly most people's idea of a good time, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Daylight Saving Time may be a good thing in the long run.

Daylight Saving Time does a lot more than just make us miserable that one morning in March. In fact, it can actually make both humans and the planet healthier in one fell swoop. We've rounded up 10 reasons you'll want to embrace the time change this year. That doesn't mean you don't have to be a teeny bit cautious, though—which is why you should read up on the 23 Ways Daylight Saving Time Harms Your Health.

You'll Be Happier

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Daylight Saving Time might just give you a leg up when it comes to kicking those winter blues. Research published in Epidemiology reveals that incidents of depression increased by 11 percent when the clock shifted back to Standard Time in November, suggesting that Daylight Saving Time may help reduce depressive episodes. For those suffering from seasonal depression specifically, that extra hour of sunlight can do a world of good. And if you want to kick those blues before Daylight Saving Time rolls around, start with the 25 Best Instant Mood Boosters.

You'll Ditch Those Unwanted Pounds

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Getting some extra sunlight during Daylight Saving Time may be the key to losing those last 10 pounds once and for all. Research conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reveals that overweight women who increased their intake of vitamin D—a vitamin bioavailable through sunlight—to sufficient levels lost more weight than those who only dieted and exercised. And here are a few more reasons Why Daylight Saving Time is the Best Thing Ever.

You'll Get Outside More

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Those long sunny evenings we enjoy during Daylight Saving Time make it easier to find time to spend outdoors. Not only does this give us extra opportunities to exercise, it may improve our mood. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reveals that pregnant women with access to green space suffered fewer incidents of depression than those without.

You'll Relieve Those Tired Eyes

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Stressed out eyes can take a much-needed break during Daylight Saving Time. Exposure to fluorescent light—the kind that's still prevalent in many older homes and offices—has been linked to increased rates of eye strain and disease by research published in the American Journal of Public Health. The good news? During Daylight Saving, you can shut off those bleak bulbs and rely on good old-fashioned sunlight instead. And if the extra light is preventing you from catching some Zs, check out the 30 Healthy Tricks for Resetting Your Sleep During Daylight Saving Time.

You'll Give the Economy A Boost

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Daylight Saving Time can give a lackluster economy a much-needed boost, sans stimulus package. Daylight Saving is a serious boon to the service and tourism industries, incentivizing travel and dining al fresco.

You'll Sleep Better

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The disruption caused by Daylight Saving can be a shock to your system, but it may benefit your sleep in the long run. Increased exposure to sunlight can boost your body's production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. When you've got more sunlit hours in the day thanks to DST, you may find it easier to hit the hay at a reasonable hour. And when you want to make it easier to snooze all year long, start with the 10 Tips for Your Best Sleep Ever!

You'll Be Safer On the Road

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There's no denying that driving when it's light out is easier. Luckily, the extra sunlight we enjoy during Daylight Saving Time might mean we're safer on the roads, too. In fact, according to a review of research in Accident Analysis & Prevention, were DST adopted year round, the lives of 366 pedestrians and motorists would be saved every year.

You'll Be Less Likely to Be Victimized

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Safer streets start with the adoption of Daylight Saving Time. According to one study, Daylight Saving Time accounts for a 7 percent dip in criminal activity. Mugging people in broad daylight is just sloppy work, after all. And if you want to make yourself safer every day, start by familiarizing yourself with the 50 Deadliest Items in Your Home.

You'll Be Safer

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The increased visibility associated with Daylight Saving Time may keep you safe—from yourself. While darkness can make it harder to see patches of ice on the street or a deer darting in your way while you're driving, that extra sunlight we gain during DST can make virtually everything you do a little bit safer.

You'll Be Less Boozy

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The long, cold days of winter can make anyone look forward to a hot toddy or glass of wine when they come home. Fortunately, research suggests that people tend to drink more from December through March than any other time of year, so Daylight Saving might just mean it's easier to skip that glass of chardonnay. If we still haven't changed your mind on DST, you'll probably enjoy these reasons Why Daylight Saving Time is the Worst Thing Ever.

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