Most of us definitely noticed yesterday’s blue skies — it’s amazing how much more bearable the freezing cold is when the sun is out.
For anyone who has been feeling like this past month has felt particularly dreary, you’re not wrong. According to Environment Canada meteorologist Mark Schuster, Toronto has seen a total of 48.8 hours of sunlight this month, compared to January’s seasonal average of 85 hours.
Our relationship with the sun is complex and often understated. We rely on sunlight to tell us when to wake up and when to go to sleep. Natural light in the morning tells our body to produce serotonin, which wakes us up and also boosts our mood throughout the day. Consistent sunlight keeps serotonin production flowing, and when darkness hits, our body reacts by producing melatonin which makes us feel tired and ready to sleep.
With less sunlight and more darkness, it is common to feel consistently sluggish and tired, which also negatively affects our mood and may cause lack of motivation and even depression. Depression associated with lack of sunlight and/or changing seasons is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Fortunately, it’s almost February and as long as the weather stays cold, we will likely see more sunny days this winter.
“When temperatures are warmer it tends to be cloudier due to moisture,” Schuster said.
February is expected to be a cold one, with temperature highs resting below zero, which will hopefully bring on more sunlight and make this home stretch before Spring slightly more endurable.