We now know for certain from research that the dramatic reduction in sunlight hours during winter can have a serious physical and emotional impact upon the human body.
With the clocks now having gone back, the number of hours during which we are exposed to natural sunlight has been reduced, a change which will have a serious impact on the energy levels of many individuals up and down the country.
With the average worker waking up in darkness and returning home in darkness, it’s no surprise that people are beginning to feel less energetic and are craving more sleep.
During the summer months the body learns to react to certain light cues from the sun, producing active and energetic hormones when the body clock receives the right type of light so that our energy cycles will be regulated. A perfect example of this is waking in the morning. During the summer months the rising sun is a natural cue for us to wake and for the body to begin producing the hormones that are required to help us wake and feel active. During the winter we wake without this natural light signal, without which the body struggles to stimulate the production of the necessary hormones.
The feel good hormone serotonin also takes its cue from natural light, which could be why almost one in five of the UK population have reported feeling unenergetic and low between September and April each year.
Sunlight is key to our happiness so if you are feeling lethargic and low during the colder months of the year then make a conscious effort to get outside into the daylight at least once everyday.
Stepping out of your warm office or cosy home and into sub-zero temperatures may not seem that appealing, but even just 10 minutes worth of sunlight each day could really make a difference to your overall mood.
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of depression during the winter months may be suffering from a condition know as Seasonal Affective Disorder, a serious and debilitating form of the winter blues which can prevent sufferers from going about their everyday lives as normal.
If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, your first port of call should be you GP who will be able to diagnose your condition and refer you for appropriate treatment.
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