Why Do We Get Winter Blues?

Sunlight is crucial to our health and when we don’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 you’re out in the sun, your serotonin levels go up. Serotonin is the hormone that elevates our mood. In the winter, we don’t get much sunlight, so we don’t produce as much serotonin. Hence, we feel blue!


There’s another hormone that’s affected in this season. The sleep hormone, melatonin — 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 it’s time to sleep. When it’s dark, your melatonin levels increase. So, if you find yourself feeling sleepy these days — when the sun sets earlier than in the summer days — it’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)

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