Fall is here, which means shorter days and colder weather but could it also be changing our moods? We've all heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and people throw it around casually, but it would help if we actually knew the scientific truth behind it and other old wives tales regarding the weather. For example, does the moon really change women's menstrual cycles?
A lack of sunlight
A lack of sunlight can make you sad, the mood disorder SAD usually affects people from October until April. Which is literally half the year, fab. The lack of sunlight means you produce more melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy, this sleepiness causes your serotonin levels to dip- basically making you sad. All sounding pretty gloomy rn, but there are steps you can take to combat SAD! Buying a UV light therapy box, or setting your lights to a timer so they come on before you wake up (mimicking sunrise).
Rainy days make you eat more according to Judith Wurtman the co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet. Carbs give you an instant serotonin peak, but this spike doesn't last- they advise reaching for starchy vegetables not the family size chocolate bar. But, let's be honest, now it's scientifically justified, we're gunna use rainy days as an excuse to eat...
A full moon
Nah, you're not going to turn into a werewolf. But is the moon related to our menstrual cycles? Well, apparently not, according to a 2013 study no correlation between the menstrual cycle and moon phases occurred. However, a 1990 study did find that a bright light at night can help regulate periods, so maybe before electricity the moon's phases did have an impact. Anyway, f*ck that, we're going to continue to blame the moon for our mood swings, what does science know...
Sunny weather typically makes us happier, as the SAD side effects explained above don't occur. Studies have found that when the sun in shining people are more helpful and more romantic, however there are negatives. Sunny days make you spend more because we feel positive, and then consequently go a little spending mad.
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