MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida is known as the Sunshine State but sunshine is definitely lacking these days and it will not be around much this weekend. It is expected to be a rainy, long holiday weekend that may put you in a bad mood. Just thank that Tropical Disturbance heading into the Gulf of Mexico.
So the question is, can grey skies and rain can affect your mood and habits?
The answer is a resounding yes, according to Dr. Edmi Cortes-Torres, a psychiatrist with the University of Miami Health System.
Dr. Cortes-Torres says rain can cause you to eat more. It is because a lack of sunlight can cause serotonin levels to dip which can increase cravings for carbohydrates. Eating carbs can spark a short-lived spike in serotonin that provides comfort, hence the term “comfort foods”.
Long stretches of rainy weather can cause pain. As atmospheric pressure decreases when it rains, bodily fluids move from blood vessels to tissues which can cause pressure on nerves and joints leading to pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. Rain can also trigger headaches, migraine headaches and sinus pain.
Rain can also cause sadness. A lack of sunlight exposure can lead to an increased production of melatonin, making you feel sleepy. In turn, your body will produce lower levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite, sleep and sexual desire.
Of course, it makes sense that people are happier when the weather is warm and sunny rather than wet and dreary but remember, we live in South Florida, and in the words of Annie, the sun will come out tomorrow, or at least next week. (Fingers crossed).