Science Weekly: Sunshine Matters


If you’re looking for a boost to your mental or emotional state this week, make sure to get some sunshine.

A new study on the correlation between mental health and weather or pollution shows that it’s time with sun that matters most.

Even pollution, rain or hot temperatures don’t lessen the positive effects of soaking up some rays, and enough sun can stabilize emotional distress. The research came up as a result of BYU faculty Mark Beecher, clinical professor and licensed psychologist, and Lawrence Rees, a physics professor. Rees wondered if Beecher saw more patients during times of bad weather or pollution, and they realized they had the combined data to do a study and find out.

They found that even considering Seasonal Affective Disorder, which rises during the cloudier, winter months, the clinical population as a whole was affected by lower levels of sunshine and more vulnerable to emotional distress.

So be sure, this November and on, to get some sunshine when you can. You can learn more about the study here.