Gray days, early sunset can affect your mood

Weather News

(WWLP) – Lately the weather has been pretty gray and gloomy. 22News Storm Team Meteorologist Adam Strzempko is Working For You with what effect this kind of weather has on people.

The leaves are off the trees and lately the weather has been cool and gray. The days continue to get shorter as the official start of winter is just a month away. This weather can have an effect on how you feel.

“It’s pretty depressing,” Katie Holmes said. “You’re just in the mood to stay in the house and watch movies and cuddle up with the animals.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, usually beginning late fall and going away during the spring and summer.

The NIMH says women and people who live farther from the equator are more at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

“For example, 1 percent of those who live in Florida and 9 percent of those who live in New England or Alaska suffer from SAD,” the NIMH reports.

The causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder are unknown, but the NIMH says research has found the following biological clues:

People with SAD may have trouble regulating one of the key neurotransmitters involved in mood, serotonin. One study found that people with SAD have 5 percent more serotonin transporter protein in winter months than summer months. Higher serotonin transporter protein leaves less serotonin available at the synapse because the function of the transporter is to recycle neurotransmitter back into the pre-synaptic neuron.

People with SAD may overproduce the hormone melatonin. Darkness increases production of melatonin, which regulates sleep. As winter days become shorter, melatonin production increases, leaving people with SAD to feel sleepier and more lethargic, often with delayed circadian rhythms.

People with SAD also may produce less Vitamin D. Vitamin D is believed to play a role in serotonin activity. Vitamin D insufficiency may be associated with clinically significant depression symptoms.”

National Institute for Mental Health

Sunrise right now is around 6:45 in the morning and sunset is around 4:25 in the evening. Winter officially arrives on Saturday, December 21.

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