Written by Daffen Perez
Every year around November, the sun begins to set earlier, and the weather begins to cool, resulting in shorter days. This causes many people to suffer from seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
SAD is known to last throughout the colder seasons, ‘your symptoms begin in the fall and last throughout winter,’ (Mayo Clinic). With this in mind, the length of the illness can quickly deplete the sufferer of their energy. This, alongside the Daylight Savings jump that adds back an hour, results in shorter days.
Even if a person does not have SAD, shorter days and lower sunlight levels may have an impact on them. “Increased darkness may also cause another chemical in our bodies, melatonin, to overproduce,” As warned by Spectrum News 1. This could explain why we are sleepier in the winter when the sun sets earlier. “This combination also has an effect on circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep and energy,” Dr. Lazarus says (SpectrumNews1). https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/columbus/weather/2020/11/03/bad-moon-rising–how-the-sun-setting-early-affects-us #:~:text=Increased%20darkness%20may%20also%20trigger, Lazarus
In order to combat some of the symptoms, here are a couple of friendly suggestions.Try your best to exercise a few times a week, have a consistent sleep routine, and eat enough throughout the day. Beyond this, also remember to get as much sunlight as possible during the day before it sets, surround yourself with people who care about you, and wear clothes you feel comfortable in.
Thankfully, this is a seasonal phenomenon, and in a few months the sun will be out longer, and the weather will begin to warm. Though these tips are not cures, they are great ways to bump up your mood and make a discomforting time feel more mentally welcoming.