Category Archives: sunshine

Let there be light …

I don’t know if I suffer from SAD – seasonal affective disorder – or not. If I do, I think it is a mild case. Don’t know what SAD is?

Here’s the Mayo Clinic explaining it, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

“Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy.”

What I do know about myself is that I don’t feel happy about the dwindling light as winter looms.I can’t ride my bike as often because of the declining hours with light. By late December I am thrilled to see that the days are beginning, very slowly, but undeniably, to have more light.

I live in Chicago. To help me to enjoy the return of the light as winter ebbs, I have charted the sunrise and sunset for January through March. I mentioned living in Chicago because you likely live elsewhere and your sunrise and set times will be somewhat different.

On January 1, sunrise occurs at 7 :18 AM and sunset at 4:29 PM. On January 31, sunrise has slipped down to 7:05 AM and sunset has stretched out to 5:04 PM. That is an increase of 48 minutes of daylight in the first month of the year.

It just keeps getting better after that. In February, we add a further 67 minutes of sunlight to our day. So, at the end of February, we have added 115 minutes of light, nearly two hours since January first.

At the end of March, a further 99 minutes of sunlight is added. That makes a total of 214 minutes – three and more than a half hours of additional light per day total in the first three months.

I don’t know if this kind of info has an interest for you, but for me, a guy who likes to be outdoors, it means a great deal. I hope you have a great bright day.

Tony

 

 

 

 

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Have you gotten your fresh air and sunshine medicine today?

England had several early advocates of the curative value of sun and fresh air. Physician John Lettsom (1744-1815) prescribed sea air and sunshine for children who were suffering from tuberculosis (TB). In 1840, surgeon George Bodington noted that those who worked in the open air—farmers, plowmen, shepherds—were generally free of TB, while those who spent much of their time indoors seemed more susceptible to it.

I love this kind of information. Sunshine and fresh air are good for us. Who’da thunk it?

I think we are all hard-wired to know simple, wonderful facts like this, but the information gets lost in the myriad facts of the mental mayhem that makes up modern living. Now we have science backing up our own intuition.

I know I am going to enjoy riding my bike out in the sun even more now.

Tony

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Filed under fresh air, sunshine