Many of us are getting ready to enjoy Autumn…
This means bountiful harvests, spectacular fall colors, and cooler, shorter days!
As summer winds down so do the hours of daylight, affecting us both physically and mentally.
But, there are steps we can take to stay healthy and strong until next Spring.
See how Autumn can affect many parts of your body.
One effect of not getting enough daylight is brain fog. One survey collected info from 16,800 participants. It found an association between decreased exposure to sunlight and increased cognitive impairment.
Are you getting to work before sunrise? Leaving work after dark? Try to squeeze in 15 minutes of daylight exposure. This stimulates your brain cells. It also improves awareness and motivation.
It’s well established that less daylight can lead to depression. One University of Pennsylvania study kept rats in the dark for six weeks. The animals showed many signs of depression. Researchers also observed damage to other regions of the brain. These areas are involved in emotions, pleasure, and cognitive function.
So if you thought the Blues were all in your head… you might be right! Your sense of wellbeing is important, especially during the colder, darker months ahead.
Bundle up and get outside and get at least 15 minutes of daylight exposure each day. This will help combat the ‘darker’ moods and cabin fever.
Your sleep patterns get disrupted with the shorter days and Daylight-Saving Time. so we tend to sleep more compared to the months with more daylight. Researchers suggest getting more sleep when possible. Blocking out daylight during months with longer daylight hours can help with this. The extra sleep we get hibernating in the winter months is good as it allows our bodies to repair and energize.
Did you know your risk for heart attacks increases in the Autumn months? Your sleep patterns are affected when you switch back to Daylight Saving Time. This can have negative impacts on your health. Studies conducted have found that there is a 5% increase in heart attacks following the first few days of daylight savings time.
As people alter their sleep habits, lack of sleep releases stress hormones. This causes inflammation. It can also cause complications for those already at risk of having a heart attack.
Your Immune System
In the autumn months, our bodies become vulnerable to the changing temperatures, which can make us susceptible to more infections as our immune system can become weakened.
Temperatures are beginning to follow the seasonal trend, reaching normal levels for this time of year, and these changes have a profound effect on the human body, as the immune system becomes susceptible to infection and disease. Keeping your immune system strong and healthy can help prevent you from catching anything nasty this autumn!
Your Skin and Hair
Between Summer heat, exposure to chlorine, saltwater, and sun, your hair and skin may need refreshing. Then, combined with the dehydrating conditions that cooler temperatures bring, your skin can get dry and flaky. Conditions like eczema, rosacea, and acne can flare up this time of year. Be sure to keep your skin and hair hydrated!
So, don’t Fall sick, stay healthy this Autumn!
Applying these tips, exercise and a healthy diet should see you healthy through the rest of the year!