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Weather & The Winter Blues

January 26, 2013, 6:02 PM by Ben Cathey

Weather & The Winter Blues

It's no secret that Wednesday's cold, clouds and wind are keeping people bundled up or tucked away indoors. But during our harsh winters some find themselves dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. 

During winter we get less sunshine and that deserves much of the blame. Even with the days getting longer, we lose out on sunlight.  When daylight savings time hits March 10, we'll have more than two hours of extra sunshine. 

It's also true that we have more overcast and gloomy days in winter. For a typical January in Sioux Falls, there are 15 days considered "cloudy."  In August, there are only nine overcast days. 

We also have a low solar angle during winter and the glare can lead homeowners to close their blinds.

Less sunshine means less Vitamin D and that can weaken the immune system.

Wind chills also force us to cover up, giving us less sun.

A British research study also found that humidity can have a big impact on mood and behavior, even more so than temperatures.  That's because researchers discovered that drier air can actually help us be more comfortable and as a result, more pleasant.
 
Most homes have very low humidity during winter which can allow viruses such as the flu to hang around longer. Higher humidity often makes people feel tired, which is why using a humidifier at night can help you sleep and that can balance our odd wintertime sleep schedules.  

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