Thesis: The amount of sun people receive affects their mood.
A young woman lies asleep on a cold, overcast winter morning. At 4 A.M., a
faint incandescence radiates from a light bulb placed near her bed. The light
gradually gains intensity and covers until 6 A.M., when the woman awakes. She
had just experienced a simulated dawn of a new day. After being treated with
this for several days, the woman's annual winter depression slowly goes away.
Does this mean that the less sun you get the worse you feel, or perhaps the
more you get the better your mood? It is very possible that you may feel this
way as millions of people worldwide have experienced it first-hand. This
phenomena is still sort of a mystery as many researchers don't completely
understand why this happens. "It may be that certain individuals have inherited
vulnerability that causes them to develop depression in the absence of exposure
to sufficient environmental light"1. Frederick A. Cook, the arctic explorer,
provided a vivid description of the effects of prolonged darkness on the human
psyche: "The curtain of blackness which has overfallen the outer world has also
descended upon the inner world of our souls," Cook wrote in his journal on May
16, 1898, "Around our tables . . . . men are sitting about sad and dejected
lost in dreams of melancholy. For brief moments some try to break the spell by
jokes, told perhaps for the 50th time. Others grind out a cheerful philosophy;
but all efforts to infuse bright hopes fail."2 Some believe that light affects
the body's ability to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps induce
feelings of calm and well being. The eye's sensitivity may also play a part in
sun/mood relations. A study was done to a group of people in the winter and
summer. In the winter the many individuals experienced much more difficulty
seeing dim light after sitting in the dark for a while.3... [continues]
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