BRITAIN’S happiest and unhappiest towns have been revealed and it’s all to do with the weather.
Researchers have examined which areas of the UK get the most sunlight during the winter as the nicer weather triggers the hormone serotonin which makes you feel happier.
And based on the total hours of sunlight, Chichester in West Sussex is the happiest place in the UK with 232 sunny hours in winter.
The least sunny place is Bradford in West Yorkshire, which only sees 110 hours of sunlight during the cold months.
Around two million people in the UK have the “winter blues” or Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD), as two-fifths of UK adults feel more depressed due to dark nights.
Neil Wright, a sleep expert at Beds Divans, which commissioned the research said: “Seasonal affective disorder affects more than just your energy levels.
“It also affects your sleep and day-to-day life. People with SAD often feel excessively sleepy during the day and typically sleep longer than usual at night.
“Healthy sleep helps us balance our moods and regulate our emotions. Without healthy sleep, you’re more likely to struggle with feelings of depression and anxiety.”
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Another survey found the town of Hexham in Northumberland is the happiest place to live in the UK.
The Happy at Home Index asked more than 21,000 people across Britain how they feel about various aspects of where they live – including friendliness and “community spirit”.
But according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2018 data, Chichester was among the top places to live in the UK.
However, there are other ways to boost your mood and fight SAD, Neil has suggested.
He added: “A greater focus on self-care may be beneficial. Getting outdoors, exercising regularly, eating energy-boosting foods, and socialising can reduce the onset of SAD symptoms.
“An abrupt change in your bedtime can do harm to your mental and physical health. If you choose to go to bed earlier over the winter months, we recommend you adjust your bedtime by 1 hour each day until you reach your intended sleep schedule. This way there’s far more chance of getting a good night’s sleep.
“The change in daylight hours can result in people losing their routines. People may begin to sleep in which can affect how you function throughout the day and your sleep schedule.
“To keep in sync, you should stick to a routine and resume getting up early despite how dark it is. This will help you stay tired at normal times and overall give you a better night’s sleep.”
List of the sunniest places in the UK
- Chichester – 232 sunlight hours in winter
- Hastings – 227
- St Helens – 227
- Eastbourne – 222
- Southend-on-Sea – 216
- Poole – 216
- Brighton – 215
- Ipswich – 214
- Peterborough – 214
- Bournemouth – 212
List of the least sunny places in the UK
- Bradford – 110 sunlight hours in winter
- Barnsley – 110
- Rochdale – 125
- Glasgow – 137
- Paisley – 140
- Belfast – 141
- York – 145
- Gateshead – 146
- Preston 147
- Sevenoaks – 154