F. Scott Fitzgerald said that, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Beautiful leaves falling from the trees, football season, pumpkin flavored everything, and the weather cooling down in the evenings are some of the most appreciated parts of fall. When it comes time to bring out the cozy sweaters and knee-high boots, we can begin to experience other changes in our lives besides the fall bliss; these seasonal changes can actually affect our health.
Seasonal Defective Disorder
We’ve all heard of it; when the summer months begin to turn to chilly and the sunlight begins to fade away, we can be lead into feeling gloomy and depressed. This phenomenon is called Seasonal Defective Disorder, and it can really take its toll on a person. Symptoms can range from feeling mopey and sad to being full on depressed, and this can be caused from a lack of Vitamin D that we get from the sun. People tend to be happier on bright, sunny days.
Decreased Energy Levels
We all know that insomnia is not being able to get enough sleep, but did you know that hypersomnia is the exact opposite? People who have hypersomnia are sleeping too much. According to an article from shape.com, most people sleep 2.7 hours longer in October than any other month, and this can lead you to feel more sluggish throughout the day. Since the days become shorter in the fall, there is less sunlight, and the decreased exposure that you receive from the sun can make you want to sleep more. Because of this, the extra sleep that you will get in return can make you feel fatigued, groggy, and sluggish.
The National Institutes of Mental Health conducted a study examining young women in the fall. Their research has shown that along with people feeling more sluggish and depressed, the fall is also a time for people to gain weight. This can be due to the fact that people tend to eat more carbs and spend less time socializing with others in the fall when compared to other months of the year. Research suggests that the fatigue factor that comes with fall can make you not as social in general. Also, the cold can make your body react like a bear does when it begins to hibernate; it wants to consume more calories.