EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As Wednesday is the last full day of summer, fall is officially on the way, and that means changes to surroundings and even the human brain.
To many people, the fall equinox means a changing of colors, pumpkins, and a crisp breeze, but the name itself simply means equal night.
“We’re about equal in terms of the axis, not really tilted either direction. So we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night,” explained Kenneth Klemow, Chair of the Wilkes University Biology Department.
That equal daylight will quickly change, bringing cooler weather in the coming months.
“Living creatures, both the plants and the animals and the mushrooms and everything else, they have to prepare for different conditions in the fall and the winter. Various kinds of hawks or other kinds of migratory animals, they have changes that go on in their brain that are the result of their eyes perceiving less sunlight in the fall,” Klemow added.
The loss of sunlight doesn’t just affect animals, it can also impact residents’ mental health and wellbeing.
“So naturally with a decrease in sunlight, we have less melatonin which turns into less serotonin. So it decreases our energy level and sometimes our mood, We’re gonna want to sleep in, it’s gonna be a little harder to get out of bed each morning. So we wanna make sure that we stick to our routines, get up at the same time each day,” explained Meredith Cosgrove, a Penn State Wilkes-Barre Health and Wellness counselor.
The best way to fight seasonal affective disorder and the coming colder weather is to stay active and enjoy the outdoors as long as you can.
“Engaging in any type of exercise. We actually have on campus for our students what we call Therapeutic Thursdays, twice a month,” Cosgrove described.
Students will be taking part in restorative yoga on Thursday as part of Therapeutic Thursdays.
Fall officially begins at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday night.