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Prolonged stretch of sunny weather good news for people with SAD

Some people may be moaning about the intense heat this week, but the prolonged stretch of sun has provided a boost to those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

The diminishing sunlight in fall and winter can trigger depression and other physical symptoms, including loss of energy, appetite changes, including strong cravings for carbohydrates, weight gain and difficulty concentrating.

Dr. Raymond Lam, a Vancouver psychiatrist, says light’s effect on mood is processed through the eyes — a photoreceptive pigment in the cells of the retina — which provide a direct link to the part of the brain that controls hormones, mood and the sleep cycle.

If the temperature reaches to forecast high Friday the city will officially be in the midst of a heat wave. There has been no significant rainfall for about a month.

Rain is in the forecast for Sunday and Monday.

Click here for more information on SAD.

With files from The Canadian Press.