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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014

News

KDKA-TV: Winter Weary Pittsburghers Waiting For Spring

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

If winter is making you tired, there's a solid scientific reason behind it - a serious lack of sunlight.

"People think there's a difference that they're feeling - it's real," says John Radzilowicz, education director at the Carnegie Science Center.

The sun sets earlier during winter months so there are fewer hours of daylight. Pittsburgh is short changed more than most.

"We're talking about the winter months here, cloud cover can be as much as 70 to 80 percent, so you think about that day and night, how much it reduces the overall light that you get - it's tremendous!"

Winter blues, medically diagnosed as seasonal affective disorder or S.A.D., can range from mild tiredness to severe depression.

"The typical depression symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder are symptoms of increased lethargy, decreased energy, increased appetite, not wanting to get up and do the way they ordinarily would," Dr. P.V. Nickell, a psychiatrist at Allegheny General Hospital, explained.

Dr. Nickell adds that the shortness of winter days can affect our sleep and reduces production of two brain chemicals - melatonin and serotonin - which regulate sleep.

But there are solutions like light therapy.
 

To read more, visit the KDKA website.

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