Sunlight is crucial to our health and when we donâ€™t get enough of it, both our mood and our health suffer. This is especially true in regions where temperatures dip to sub-zero levels and sunlight is scarce.
But why does this happen? When youâ€™re out in the sun, your serotonin levels go up. Serotonin is the hormone that elevates our mood. In the winter, we donâ€™t get much sunlight, so we donâ€™t produce as much serotonin. Hence, we feel blue!
Thereâ€™s another hormone thatâ€™s affected in this season. The sleep hormone, melatonin â€” which is produced by the pineal gland in our brain, is also affected by light and dark. Melatonin is the hormone that lets our body know itâ€™s time to sleep. When itâ€™s dark, your melatonin levels increase. So, if you find yourself feeling sleepy these days â€” when the sun sets earlier than in the summer days â€” itâ€™s due to the increase in melatonin.
In winter, we not only have low levels of serotonin (the feel-good hormone) but our melatonin (the sleep hormone) kicks into gear earlier in the day, making us want to retire sooner. No wonder we feel a little out of sorts during winter!
Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)