Spring Has Sprung!
What effect does that have on your mood? Figures suggest that 3% of the population are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Do you think that is true? We think it is way higher.
It isn’t necessarily diagnosed as a medical condition but many of us feel brighter and happier when the sun starts to shine and we feel a bit of warmth on our skin. The full effects, during the winter months include depression, sluggishness, excessive tiredness, anxiety, over-eating and many others. Is it fair to say that during the winter months it is harder to motivate yourself to get moving in the morning when it is dark and cold? Hibernation seems like such a good idea some days!
Everybody feels better in the sunshine and this isn’t just because we can get our shorts out and there are flowers around there is actually some science behind it.
Simply put exposure to the sun increases the release of a hormone called serotonin which is associated with mood boosting and helping with calm and focus. Additionally, sunlight can help improve sleep, exposure to sunlight helps our circadian rhythm (our natural time-keeping clock). There is one study that says exposure to sunlight has reduced the difficulty insomniacs have falling asleep.
Messing up normal light and day cycles that shift workers experience can influence mood as it can mess up the body’s metabolism. Once we start messing with our metabolism it can affect loads of essential functions. Some of the effects can be how we break down energy from food, how strong our immune systems are and influence many chemicals contributing to mood, weight, energy and more.
Serotonin appears to be the key to mood boosting but in addition exposure to sunshine increase your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D gives you stronger bones, lowers your blood pressure and apparently give you higher quality of sleep.
The message here appears to be get out in the sun while you can!!