Meteoropathy: Good humor is recharged with “solar energy”

The hours of light affect our mind more than do rain, smog and temperatures

We consider ourselves a bit all meteoro sensitivity, but what are really aspects of the seasonal climate that influence us the mood? If they are asked to researchers at Brigham Young University, in the United States, arriving at a conclusion a bit unexpected: not enough rain, scorching temperatures and gray skies to bring us down. Our emotional state is essentially conditioned by the hours of daylight : if we make the most of, we can get your fill of good humor to withstand the adverse weather.


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The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, was born a bit by chance during a conversation on the bus between two university researchers, physicist Lawrence Rees and psychologist Mark Beecher: intrigued by the usual clich├ęs about the weather effects on mood of the people, have tried to verify the data in hand, crossing out the weather conditions with those of patients receiving treatment at the psychological support offices in the city of Provo, Utah. From here, the surprise.

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“People usually think they are suffering in rainy or characterized by high levels of smog, but our data do not confirm it,” says Beecher. “We evaluated the solar radiation that hits the ground. We tried to take into account cloudy days, rainy, pollution … but everything was washed away. The only thing that has really proved significant is the time of light from sunrise to sunset.” For this reason, the researchers said, we should put in place preventive measures, designed specifically case by case, to curb the psychological effects of the reduced hours of light during the winter months.

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