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Nature’s Rhythms

The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere happens between June 20 and 22. This is when we have longer daylight hours since the sun is at its furthest point north of the equator. Of course in the Southern Hemisphere we experience the exact opposite and the Winter Solstice occurs.

In many places around the world, the summer solstice represents the beginning of summer, which could have several tangible health benefits including better sleep and a more positive mood.

During Summer, people tend to feel better and have a slight elevation in their mood. This may be because the additional sunlight helps to regulate our internal clock, known as our circadian rhythm because our eyes’ light receptors have an easier time recognizing when it’s time to wake up and fall asleep.

On the other hand, during the Winter solstice which happens between December 21 or 22 in the Northern hemisphere the daylight hours are at their shortest. The Solstice markss the official first day of winter in the North and Summer in the South. The tilt of the Earth causes the change in seasons, and during the winter solstice, in particular, the Earth’s Northern hemisphere is farthest away from the sun.

This can also affect your body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates your normal sleep cycles, as well as your ability to produce melatonin, otherwise known as your body’s sleep hormone. To put it simply, the lack of sunlight could definitely take a toll on your body clock.

Everyone’s heard of the winter blues, but there’s real science behind why this time of year has you feeling tired a lot of the time. During this time of the year, your brain’s serotonin levels (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that our body produces) are largely affected by the amount of exposure we get to daylight.

So when the days start getting significantly shorter, and there’s a limited amount of sunshine, your serotonin levels can drop, causing you to feel a little moody and melancholy. This lack of serotonin is often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD for good reason.

Summer is a great opportunity to pause and reflect. During this time, your Yang energy reaches its peak – which is very important because as a summer shifts into fall, Yang energy will decline. This abundance of yang energy will translate throughout your body during this season which helps you stay active and grow not only physically but mentally and spiritully as well.

Learn more about how seasons can affect your body’s rhythm by checking out our Seasonal courses.