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How We Adjust To Changing Seasons

Update Date: Nov 09, 2015 10:23 AM EST
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Even as the seasons change, with longer nights and shorter days, it is obvious that all living beings modify and adapt their habits to the change in the light and air. As do humans, according to natureworldnews.

These are the factors to which humans make adjustments:

Light

Due to external factors, a person's sleep cycles keep changing. Hence, a difference in brightness makes it tough for people to fall asleep, as it makes our internal clocks go for a toss.

Due to light-sensitive cells in the retinas, the human brain tends to change its sleep patterns. That is why it is difficult for humans to change its day shifts, or adjust to biannual regional time changes.

The melatonin hormone also regulates the sleep-wake cycles. It might usually shoot up at night and fall in the daytime, because the hormone is managed by our view of light.

Humans also have diverse sleep-wake cycles based on their "circadian biological clock", managed by neurons in the hypothalamus that respond in different ways to light and dark signals.

With the arrival of winter, humans also undergo Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sparked by changes in the light. The best way to treat SAD is with light therapy.

Color

In a recent study published in Current Biology, researchers from the University of York found that we perceive yellow differently in winter compared with summer. Humans interpret four "unique" colors----blue, green, yellow and red, which are registered as "pure", while other hues are a blend of these.

In their study, researchers asked 67 UK men and women to assess when a colored light touched 'unique yellow' in June and January, and how the interpretations of the color differed.

"What we are finding is that between seasons our vision adapts to changes in environment," Lauren Welbourne, one of the study researchers, said in a news release. "In York (U.K.), you typically have grey, dull winters and then in summer you have greenery everywhere. Our vision compensates for those changes and that, surprisingly, changes what we think 'yellow' looks like."

Diets

Like bears who are getting ready to hibernate and consume heavy food that give them warmth, humans also consume heavy foods such as root vegetables in order to provide their bodies a good source of food and keep their bodies warm. In the summers, they eat light foods like salads and fruits.

Temperatures

Like animals that grow abundant fur or feathers in the winter, humans too layer their clothes and gear up to keep themselves warm, so that they can fight the severe winters.

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