Sunlight Plays Big Role in Mental Health
As daylight savings time comes to end (Sunday morning at 2 a.m.) for those areas of the world that have it, a new study shows that the amount of time between sunrise and sunset is the weather variable that matters most when it comes to our mental and emotional health. According to researchers at BYU, the number of hours of daylight affects mental health more than the temperature and humidity, the amount of precipitation, smog and pollution levels, and other weather-related factors.
The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, shows that this applies to people in general—not only those who have seasonal affective disorder, SAD. The research involved combining weather data and clinical, psychological data from the Provo, Utah area. With fewer daylight hours in the months ahead, many therapists expect to see an increase in emotional distress, according to researchers.
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