Why Rainy Days Got You Feeling Down

It’s been raining this weekend and I can’t help noticing that a feel a little blue. I was curious about why this is, and looked into it.

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It turns out that the human body produces more melatonin (the hormone that makes you feel tired) when it is exposed to less sunlight. Then in the afternoon when you feel tired, your body produces less serotonin (controls mood, sleep and appetite). A drop in serotonin can also result in craving carbohydrates. This disorder Therefore when it is rainy your body may have Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. This disorder affects most people between October and April, and I would think it would be more prominent when rainy.

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Cold weather also has a direct physical impact on you by reducing your sensory feedback. This can limit your muscle strength, dexterity, and balance. The rain has some similar effects. The drop in atmospheric pressure can make fluid move into your tissues. This can result in pressure on the nerves and joints, causing stiffness and overall lower mobility.

After discovering these things, it has aroused some new thoughts. It seems that when a sleep all weekend, I get up and am still tired. Perhaps taking an afternoon nap may not be the best way to deal with increasing weariness. Perhaps it would be better to spend some time active in the sun.

In addition, adults are always talking about weight gain during the holidays, due to the big feasts. It may be more related to increasing inactivity when it is cold outside, compounded by the need to eat due to reduced serotonin.

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