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Standard Time Starts, And The Summer-Haters Celebrate

Daylight Saving Time is so last month. Some people can't wait for this kind of weather. (Getty Images)

You know what today is, right?

That whole Daylight Saving thing is over, which means it gets darker earlier.

For a lot of people that might be a downer. You get home from work and it's pitch black outside. Maybe you skip that run because it just feels too cold and dark. Then you feel bad because you skipped your run, and you open a bottle of whiskey instead.

Ok, we're getting carried away, but you get the point. Some people are SAD in the winter months — literally SAD — they have seasonal affective disorder. They'd much rather frolic in the summer sun.

But guess what? SAD can happen in reverse.

"There are people who have a very hard time dealing with the summer," says Norman Rosenthal, a psychiatrist and professor at Georgetown University. "For some people, warmer temperatures and brighter days can lead to depression, agitation, weight loss, insomnia ... in extreme cases, even thoughts of suicide."

Rosenthal was the first to name and describe the disorder, and he's known as the pioneer of SAD research, starting back in the '80s.

It's the summer version of SAD. For these people, this is the day that things start to get better.

Rosenthal says the gradual drop in temperature creates a calming feeling, as opposed to the agitation that the summer heat can cause. It's also the time when those of us who simply like winter can spike our tea, get the cozy plaid blankets out of the attic and watch television — I mean, read books.

For more on the upsides to winter, we found Jack Fitzpatrick. He's from Minnesota, so he's something of an expert on the cold and dark. We can all learn something from his attitude.

"I love the transition," Fitzpatrick says. "There is just so much time to spend inside because you don't want to be outside. You're just kind of hanging out. Sitting, eating food."

Allen Nguyen didn't grow up with Minnesota winters. He's from New Orleans, but he hates the heat. Cold weather is where he feels most himself.

"I can go outside when it's very serene, when it's very snowy or even when it's a nice fall day," he says. "It just feels a lot better to me. It's just hard to explain."

I'm with you, Allen. And he waxed philosophical too.

"When it gets cold, inside of me, I sort of understand that there's an end to things, a completion to the year," he says.

See? Daylight Saving Time is deep.

So don't just enjoy the extra hour of sleep, be excited about the change, the chilly weather and cozy, darker nights. It's the best time, Fitzpatrick says, to do the following:

"Sit, take a bath, wrap up under blankets and not talk to anyone."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You know what today is, right? That whole daylight saving thing is over, which means it gets darker earlier. For a lot of people, that might be a downer. You get home from work and it's pitch black outside. Maybe you skip that run because it just feels too cold and dark. Then you feel badly because you skipped that run and you open a bottle of whiskey instead.

OK, I'm getting carried away. But you get my point. Some people are sad in the winter months, literally sad. They have seasonal affective disorder. They'd much rather frolic in the summer sun. But guess what? Sad can happen in reverse?

DR. NORMAN ROSENTHAL: There are people who have a very hard time dealing with the summer. As the days become brighter and warmer, they become depressed, agitated, eat less, sleep less, lose weight, and are more likely to have suicidal feelings.

MARTIN: That's Dr. Norman Rosenthal. He's a psychiatrist and professor at Georgetown University. He pioneered SAD back in the eighties.

ROSENTHAL: Rather than being lethargic and sluggish, they're more agitated and activated. And they're depressed just like the winter counterparts but they are more likely to actually have suicidal ideas.

MARTIN: It's the summer version of SAD. But for those people, this is the day that things start to get better. Dr. Rosenthal says the gradual drop in temperature creates a calming sort of feeling as opposed to the agitation that the summer heat can cause. It's also the time the rest of us who just like winter can spike our tea, get the cozy plaid blankets out of the attic, and watch television - I mean, read books, read a lot of books, lots of books.

For more on the upsides to winter, we took to the streets of D.C., where we found Jack Fitzpatrick. He's from Minnesota, so he might be sort of a pro at all this cold and dark, but we can also learn we can all learn something from his attitude.

JACK FITZPATRICK: I love the transition. There is just so much time to spend inside 'cause you don't want to be outside.

MARTIN: Alan Nguyen didn't grow up with Minnesota winters. He's from New Orleans. But he hates the heat. Cold weather is where he feels most himself.

ALAN NGUYEN: I can go outside, and it's very serene when it's very snowy or even when it's a nice fall day. It just feels a lot better to me. It's hard to explain.

MARTIN: I'm with you, Alan. And he waxed philosophical, too.

NGUYEN: When it gets cold, inside of me I sort of understand that there's an end to things and that I can sort of complete the year.

MARTIN: See, daylight saving time is deep. So don't just enjoy the extra hour of sleep. Be excited about the change, the chilly weather, and cozy darker nights. It's the best time, says Jack Fitzpatrick, to do the following.

FITZPATRICK: Sit, take a bath, wrap up under blankets, and not talk to anyone.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COLD, COLD FEELING")

ALBERT COLLINS: (Singing) I've got a cold, cold feeling. You're just like ice around my heart. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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