Lack of Sun—Not Rainy Days—Associated with Gloomy Moods
- Seasonal sunlight time was associated with the degree of psychological distress: reports of psychological distress were increased during periods of decreased hours of sunlight.
- Other aspects of weather, like rainfall and temperature, were not associated with higher psychological distress.
- Initially, pollution appeared to be associated with higher psychological distress; however, when sunlight time was taken into account, this relationship was no longer evident.
The researchers hope that this discovery may help guide treatments for people susceptible to psychological and emotional distress. Future research may help us to understand how much sunlight we need to support mental health and whether people living in places with less seasonal variation in sunlight hours are still affected by periods of relatively low sunlight time. These findings may also encourage more research into the usefulness of light therapy.
Source: Journal of Affective Disorders