Even though summer is not technically over until the end of September, the beginning of the month already brings with it several signs that beach weather will soon be behind us. First, there is Labor Day, known as the unofficial end of summer. Then, there is more rain, later sunrise time, and shorter days. The body has a lot to get used to, and it might need some help.
Gloomier weather and cooler temperatures in the fall can have an impact on sleep and therefore on overall health. The brain’s “circadian clock,” called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, regulates the body’s natural 24-hour cycle, which controls body heat, hormone production, and sleep patterns. SCN needs triggers like daylight or darkness to keep working properly. So, when these triggers are changed even slightly, the circadian rhythm is likely to change, too.
There is some evidence that a disrupted circadian rhythm can contribute to the development of several clinical disorders, including metabolic syndrome and obesity, premature aging, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmias, immune deficiencies, and high blood pressure. All of these come with symptoms that are often too vague to notice. That’s why there are at least 25 symptoms people always ignore but never should.
You can minimize the risk of any of these conditions. Helping the body adapt to the differences in natural light, weather, and temperature that come when the seasons change may be a good place to start.