As we move away from the winter solstice the days are going to be getting incrementally longer until I’m no longer waking up in the pitch black of morning. I’ve always considered myself a morning person more than anything, but I do have to say that the inky morning makes waking up feel like clawing out of sleep instead of starting the day peacefully.
So in honor of the returning light, here’s a visualization from one of my data favorites, David McCandless. According to this chart, if you live above 42° N there isn’t enough sunlight in the winter to make Vitamin D. Seattle happens to be at 47° 36′ 23″ N. For reference, Los Angeles, California is 34° 3″ 8″ and Fairbanks, Alaska is 64° 50′ 16″ N. So that means that even if Seattle weren’t overcast, we still wouldn’t have enough sun from November to February to make Vitamin D. It doesn’t surprise me that a study in the 1990′s showed less than 5% of the participants reported Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms in southern regions and over 30% reported symptoms in northern cities like Seattle. (More info on this study and SAD here.) Time to break out the fake sunlight lamps!