The two spring dates

For people living in the northern hemisphere, spring has two official start dates.

Meteorologists consider 1 March a spring day, according to the seasons formalised in the 1900s. However, the astronomical seasons show spring starting at the vernal equinox, which falls on 20 March.

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The spring and autumn equinoxes lie halfway between the shortest and longest days of the year. At these points, day and night are mostly even lengths all over the world.

These conditions may suit the human circadian rhythm - the daily cycle that affects the body's sleep, wake, eat, and other biological processes. The benefits of a well-entrained body clock include modifying your metabolism, decreasing cardiovascular disease and better eyesight.

The good light at the onset of spring is brighter and makes spring feel so central. Daylight is noticeably increasing in length, and the sky is bluer.

Bright light can make us happier. It can be as effective in treating depression as Prozac. Some data reveals that light exposure during the day is related to the quality of sleep, which will affect emotions and systemic health.

Research associates a deficiency in vitamin D with depression. Spring is when we can expect to start making vitamin D from sun exposure.

However, if the UV index is less than two, then you will not make enough vitamin D in a reasonable time. To get the full benefit, you have to expose unprotected skin.

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