You may prefer winter or you could adore summer, but some people hit a real low during the winter due to seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. However, it’s not only middle aged women suffering from this, as you may think, it’s also young students. So we decided to find out what our students at Guildford County School thought, as well as how the weather affects their behaviour and work ethic.
Through some research done at GCS, we discovered that different types of weather affect students in different ways. For example, Miss Thorne (one of our teachers) tell us that on windy days students often become excitable and energetic. Similarly on extremely hot days students become distracted, with a very short attention span. We also found that when the weather is mild, cloudy and generally dreary students find it easier to pay attention and work hard as there aren’t any major distractions.
SAD is a pattern of significant depressive symptoms that occur and then disappear with the changing of the seasons. SAD is sometimes called “Winter Depression” or “Winter Blues”, a lack of sunlight furthers the symptoms of SAD. SAD affects millions worldwide, primarily occurring in areas of higher latitudes from the equator, as the sun intake is less. It affects women and children more than men, as they seem more vulnerable. Around 6% of people suffer from SAD every year, but over half of these people are unaware of it or do not know what to do about it.
A medical evaluation is always needed in these situations as doctors can usually suggest the best treatment. They could suggest purchasing an artificial light, which have been specially engineered for the purpose. Or in extreme cases, they might suggest going to a sunny place below [or on] the equator. However, mild SAD can be caused by a lack of time being spent outside. Although, there are different types of light with different benefits. For example, San Diego was recently ranked the sunniest place in the United States as they had a far higher measurement of light intensity than places like Washington D.C. or the UK. The intensity of light is essential for determining your energy levels, as well as your emotional well-being.
While speaking to some students to get their opinion on the weather and how it affects their concentration in lessons we discovered that 52% of people noticeably feel more alive and happier during the summer than the winter. One student said ‘I hate the winter it makes me feel all gloomy I prefer the sun so much more’. This shows how the weather, sun and light levels really do make a difference to our everyday lives.
What do you think about light levels? Do you find some types of weather more beneficial than others?
Article written by Hannah and Francis.