Cooler temperatures bring better moods to Arizonans
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Are you happier now that we are into the cooler winter months in Arizona? If so, you are not alone.
When it comes to seasonal depression, Arizona is unique. It’s one of the only areas in the country where people are typically crankier in the summer and happier in the winter. It’s usually the opposite, where people up north are sad during the dark and cold winter.
Dr. Shad Marvasti is the Public Health Director at the University of Arizona in Phoenix. He says nearly 10 million Americans have seasonal depression each year. He says most of those people live in colder climates, but people in our state go through it too. “We have plenty of access to the sun, but we actually have too much sun,” he said. “We basically lock ourselves indoors its so hot we try to avoid the outdoors as much as possible.”
Dr. Marvasti says the sun coming up early in the morning can limit how much sleep people get. The lack of sleep can lead to increased anxiety and bad moods. He says he even notices he has a better mood once October rolls around.
Summer can be overwhelming for some people. Arizona’s Family asked Dr. Marvasti if the people he speaks with feel the same way. “Yes, most people are excited about our fall and winter here.”
He says we go into “A/C jail” during the summer. Those hot months with high temperatures in the 100s can isolate people as we avoid going outside. The heat can limit how much time we spend outdoors, and there are fewer events or festivals to attend.
Dr. Marvasti says black-out curtains can help during the summer months, and finding fun indoor activities is important.
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