Seasons Change Your Mood. Truth or Myth?

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Experts are now asking how changing seasons might affect your mood

Kathryn A. Roecklein, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, notes that the changes affect people differently, but generally have to do with loss of energy, socialization lapses, lose of interest in your favorite activities, yearning for carbs and changes in sleep patterns.

Roecklein notes that light is prominent among them. The days grow shorter or longer depending on the time of year. In fall, the sun sets much earlier; so following Roecklein’s principle, it would be normal to notice a shift in mood around that same time.

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How does the body know the difference? It turns out the body has a “built-in” clock. Roecklein explains that this clock,the circadian clock, mainly tells the body when to fall asleep and when to wake up. Changes in sunrise and sunset therefore upset the normal functioning of the clock and make it produce abnormal quantities of certain hormones during certain seasons. These cause the discrepancies you may observe in your mood as seasons change.

Activities like exercising, eating well, opening the shades when the sun’s out and making time for socialization are all ways you can help keep your mood stable all year round.


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