Does the Weather Really Affect your Mood?


by LightbulbSun
Tags: affect, mood, weather
LightbulbSun
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#1
Oct27-07, 02:26 PM
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I've heard about this a lot how the sun makes people happy and how cloudy and rainy days make people depressed. But I want to know if this is just a social myth or if there's any scientific grounding behind this?
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Astronuc
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Oct27-07, 06:27 PM
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There is an increase in depression during the winter in both hemispheres. The effect, which is attributed to reduced sun, is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Sunlight contributes to photochemical reactions in the skin, and the production of Vitamin-D is one of these. Vitamin-D apparently affects hormone levels, which can affect moods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasona...athophysiology

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sea...sorder/DS00195
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sea...195/DSECTION=3

http://www.ncpamd.com/seasonal.htm

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdo...interview.html

http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentG...rder_(SAD).htm

Diet inlcuding increase intake of foods containing Vitamin B complex, C, and D can help. Exercise is also a good way of improving one's mood.
hypatia
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Oct27-07, 06:27 PM
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Heres a few good pages{studies/ papers} to read up on the subject.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1006082239.htm
and
http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006...per_101916.htm

Evo
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Oct27-07, 08:00 PM
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Does the Weather Really Affect your Mood?


I think it's mostly psychological. If you are brought up to believe coudy days are gloomy, then you're going to think you should feel gloomy.

I love cloudy days. And a thunderstorm can put me in the best mood. Hot sunny days are the worst, I won't even go outside.

Consider Eskimos and other people that live where there is six months a year with very little sun.

Discussions of vitimin deficiencies and other factors can play a roll in depression, but are off topic from what you are asking about - just the effects of light versus dark. That is psychological.
Moonbear
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Oct27-07, 08:12 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I think it's mostly psychological. If you are brought up to believe coudy days are gloomy, then you're going to think you should feel gloomy.

I love cloudy days. And a thunderstorm can put me in the best mood. Hot sunny days are the worst, I won't even go outside.

Consider Eskimos and other people that live where there is six months a year with very little sun.
That's not necessarily true. On cloudy/rainy days, I wake up feeling pretty lousy before I even open the blinds to know what the weather is like outside. I don't think it's psychological, because I don't know what the weather is before I feel that way, but I also don't think it has to do with it being darker (it's different than SAD which is due to shortening daylengths), again because I have no way to tell it's darker until I open my blinds. In my case, at least, I think it has to do with the changes in pressure associated with the storm systems moving in (I'll also start to feel headachy/hazy a few hours before a storm comes in, and even while the storm is still ongoing, will already start feeling better). Most people around me have reported similar symptoms on the same days.
Evo
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Oct27-07, 08:22 PM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
That's not necessarily true. On cloudy/rainy days, I wake up feeling pretty lousy before I even open the blinds to know what the weather is like outside. I don't think it's psychological, because I don't know what the weather is before I feel that way, but I also don't think it has to do with it being darker (it's different than SAD which is due to shortening daylengths), again because I have no way to tell it's darker until I open my blinds. In my case, at least, I think it has to do with the changes in pressure associated with the storm systems moving in (I'll also start to feel headachy/hazy a few hours before a storm comes in, and even while the storm is still ongoing, will already start feeling better). Most people around me have reported similar symptoms on the same days.
I've heard of people being sensitive to barometric pressure. I used to have an odd effect from drops in barometric pressure in my teens. I haven't noticed it in years though.

I would still say that looking out at a bright sunny day or a cloudy sky and letting that affect your mood is psychological. It's what you are conditioned to associate with light or dark. (can you tell my little sister is a psychologist?)
Astronuc
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Oct27-07, 08:28 PM
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In my case, at least, I think it has to do with the changes in pressure associated with the storm systems moving in (I'll also start to feel headachy/hazy a few hours before a storm comes in, and even while the storm is still ongoing, will already start feeling better).
That may be a reaction in the sinuses. My wife experiences the same thing as Moonbear describes, and it's particularly bad when a frontal system move through.

I myself prefer to be outdoors, and I enjoy the sun rather than being indoors. I like thunderstorms and cool weather.

Eskimos have adapted to their environment, and their diet is part of that.

Certainly there psychological (cognitive) as well as physiological aspects to this matter.
Far Star
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Oct28-07, 07:59 PM
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I'm not sure if this is peer reviewed. It does follow along the subject at hand, though.

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi...1994.tb01612.x
Evo
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Oct28-07, 09:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Far Star View Post
I'm not sure if this is peer reviewed. It does follow along the subject at hand, though.

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi...1994.tb01612.x
Hi Far Star, articles don't have to be peer reviewed, especially outside of the pure physics forums. We just want to make sure that credible sources are cited.

This is interesting
Higher ambient temperature and an increase in air temperature over the few past weeks were the most significant climatic predictors of violent suicide rate.
I wonder if this is hot, *sunny* days? Usually cloudy days aren't as hot as sunny ones. I wish I had access to the entire paper. Of course it is no secret that I hate hot, sunny days. I do recall other studies of increased violence during summertime. Yep, here we go.

Summer 'sees peak in violence'

More violence happens in the summer months than at any other time of the year, research suggests.

A survey of data from hospital casualty units points to seasonal trends, with the lowest number of attacks coming in February and April.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1182636.stm

Comments like this just make me shake my head
The researchers said previous research had raised the idea that injury from assault is a "seasonal disorder".
Astronuc
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Oct28-07, 09:26 PM
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I do recall other studies of increased violence during summertime.
Yep, that was often mentioned in Houston, and IIRC in many other metropolitan areas, during the summer months. When it's cold, people prefer to be in doors.
Far Star
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Oct29-07, 12:46 AM
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Thanks for the clarification, Evo.

The field of Biometeorology is one of the more interesting when it comes to research into behavior and disease. I remember some interest many years ago about radiative transfer and "sundown" syndrome. I'm not sure whether anyone followed up with an actual study.

http://personales.unican.es/fernandh...tCHC/index.htm
SMoscato
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Dec11-08, 09:26 AM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
That's not necessarily true. On cloudy/rainy days, I wake up feeling pretty lousy before I even open the blinds to know what the weather is like outside. I don't think it's psychological, because I don't know what the weather is before I feel that way, but I also don't think it has to do with it being darker (it's different than SAD which is due to shortening daylengths), again because I have no way to tell it's darker until I open my blinds. In my case, at least, I think it has to do with the changes in pressure associated with the storm systems moving in (I'll also start to feel headachy/hazy a few hours before a storm comes in, and even while the storm is still ongoing, will already start feeling better). Most people around me have reported similar symptoms on the same days.
well sometimes i dont even have an effect of how i feel after i wake up when i dont know the weather. it has come to my attention that the weather don't have as noticable effect on my mood
SMoscato
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Dec11-08, 09:31 AM
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well after reading that most of these things "are not necessarily true"
could there be a possible correct answer for this topic?
somasimple
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Dec12-08, 07:22 AM
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Emotion. 2008 Oct;8(5):662-7.

The effects of weather on daily mood: a multilevel approach.

Denissen JJ, Butalid L, Penke L, van Aken MA.

Personality Development, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany. jjadenissen@gmail.com

The present study examines the effects of six weather parameters (temperature, wind power, sunlight, precipitation, air pressure, and photoperiod) on mood (positive affect, negative affect, and tiredness). Data were gathered from an online diary study (N = 1,233), linked to weather station data, and analyzed by means of multilevel analysis. Multivariate and univariate analyses enabled distinction between unique and shared effects. The results revealed main effects of temperature, wind power, and sunlight on negative affect. Sunlight had a main effect on tiredness and mediated the effects of precipitation and air pressure on tiredness. In terms of explained variance, however, the average effect of weather on mood was only small, though significant random variation was found across individuals, especially regarding the effect of photoperiod. However, these individual differences in weather sensitivity could not be explained by the Five Factor Model personality traits, gender, or age. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

PMID: 18837616 [PubMed - in process]
kewlpseudonym
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Dec1-09, 08:28 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
This is interesting I wonder if this is hot, *sunny* days? Usually cloudy days aren't as hot as sunny ones. I wish I had access to the entire paper. Of course it is no secret that I hate hot, sunny days. I do recall other studies of increased violence during summertime. Yep, here we go.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1182636.stm
while it might state that it was days of summer that may have an increase of violence its a known effort by scientists to prove that violence, murders, and such are predominately occuring in times that are on days in which there is a new moon or full moon. Lunar phases are known to effect the weather and tides. the only reason this hasnt been accepted as more than just a theory is the reasoning that crime suspects will use this as a means to get out of a trial with murder for blaming it on the moon.

i personally believe the reasoning for feeling under-the-weather, or gloom, when its rainy or sunny is not because what you're used to or how its a systematic underground perception of how if it rains then its a bad day, i believe the phases of the moon cause the weather as well as a metabolic imbalance or bad equillibrium due to the change in the phases.

http://www.innerself.com/Astrology/full_moon.htm

it causes changes with moods, ovulation time periods, and hysteria.

p.s. i hate the heat too, i personally prefer autumn.
daveg360
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Dec2-09, 04:22 AM
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Quote Quote by kewlpseudonym View Post
while it might state that it was days of summer that may have an increase of violence its a known effort by scientists to prove that violence, murders, and such are predominately occuring in times that are on days in which there is a new moon or full moon. Lunar phases are known to effect the weather and tides. the only reason this hasnt been accepted as more than just a theory is the reasoning that crime suspects will use this as a means to get out of a trial with murder for blaming it on the moon.

i personally believe the reasoning for feeling under-the-weather, or gloom, when its rainy or sunny is not because what you're used to or how its a systematic underground perception of how if it rains then its a bad day, i believe the phases of the moon cause the weather as well as a metabolic imbalance or bad equillibrium due to the change in the phases.

http://www.innerself.com/Astrology/full_moon.htm

it causes changes with moods, ovulation time periods, and hysteria.

p.s. i hate the heat too, i personally prefer autumn.
Yeah the moon plays a big role in weather, especially when the moon is retrograde with Uranus.
Proton Soup
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#17
Dec3-09, 08:05 PM
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a change in barometric pressure can certainly affect pressure in the sinuses, which absolutely affects my mood. maybe something from higher O2 concentration at higher pressure, too?
LebLlama
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#18
Dec5-09, 05:18 PM
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It does for me!!

Sunny - I'm happy

Cloudy - Im bored

Thunderstorms - Im frisky.

Im not kidding about storms, they seriously turn me on. May god give strength to my next girlfriend who happens to be with me during a storm


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