Feeling groggier than usual? Blame the cooler weather

How weather and sunlight can affect our mood

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

That feeling right there – are you feeling it, too? Groggy, less social, loss of interest in favorite things, cravings for carbs, moodiness and sleep changes are all completely normal this time of year. This is because it’s a new season and seasonal variables can affect our mood.

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When the weather starts to turn cooler, the amount of sunshine starts to shorten – in regard to both the center of gravity star that lies within the milky way galaxy and the ray of sunshine that comes from inside. It’s all a shift and we’re all caught up in the middle of it.

The circadian rhythm that monitors the body’s internal time are affected and this has a big influence on our mood. It tells our body when it’s time to do certain things such as: get tired, wake up, release hormones, regulate temperature, metabolism and impacts our mood. It’s like a body’s boss that gives orders that must be followed.

Huffpost reports that, “When there’s less light during the day, some of those processes affected by the circadian clock, including ones that influence our mood, get disrupted."

One study showed that individuals actually produce less serotonin ― one of the hormones that helps regulate mood and contributes to our feelings of wellbeing and happiness ― in the winter months, and more when there was more sunlight.

Other research shows changing light-dark cycles affect body temperature, how long it takes us to fall asleep, and how much we produce of melatonin, the hormone that triggers sleep. It also affects the production of stress hormones.”

There is an end in sight to beating these blahs. Different people encounter the seasons in different ways.

For those who hate the heat of summer, they may spend more time outdoors and actually increase their moods and energy levels.

Don’t fear Fall – remember this is the season where even the small joys such as pumpkins, football, apples and casseroles live, and at the very least, are worth cracking a smile over.

Related: Sleepy after coffee? Here's the fix. 

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