Clock change affects people psychologically

Dr Mike Mahon: Host of Psych with Mike

The Randy Tobler Show
November 12, 2019 - 10:46 am

Psychology professor Dr Mike Mahon joins Randy Tobler to discuss the recent adjustment to the clocks as the country "fell back" one hour.  

"It isn't good for us because it is so stark and so immediate," says Dr Mahon, "We would do better if it were a gradual change."

Dr Mahon says the amount of daylight is the main issue when the clocks change, "when we have this change where we go from one day, we have this much amount of light. To the very next day, we have a perceptially shorter amount of light, that really puts in a bind psychologically and physiologically."

"When we have this change in light that is so dramatic, our circadian rhythms get off balance," says Dr Mahon.  "The most effective treament for the average person is going to be whats called, light therapy, where you have an artificial lamp that has to be 10,000 Lux, which is about 100 times brighter than normal indoor light. It doesn't need to contain UV light, so the light that actually causes you to get tan, has nothing to do with this."

The two doctors also discussed the rise in 'digital stress' and smart phone use.

Dr Mahon says the notifications and alerts from a cell phone actally affects the brain, "the dinging of those notifications actually causes that burst of dopamine, just like if we were snorting cocaine or doing any kind of other drug.  So we get this tremendous reward for being connected to our phones."

Learn more from Mike Mahon with his Psych with Mike podcast.