NOW that Christmas is over and we’re heading into 2018, the days will gradually get longer.
We look at exactly what time dawn broke today, when the sun will set and why sunshine makes such a difference.
What time is sunrise and sunset in the UK?
Today, December 30, the sun rose at 08.06 and will set at 16.00 – giving you a daylight window of seven hours and 54 minutes.
We’ve just had the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and beginning of astrological winter.
Now December 21 has passed, the nights will begin to get shorter as our planet rotates towards the sun.
These daylight hours pale in comparison to the longest day of the year on the Summer Solstice.
On June 21, dawn at 04.43 and dusk at 21.21 provided a glorious 16 hours and 38 minutes of day time – nearly nine hours longer than on the darkest day.
The December solstice happens every year when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees.
When are the shortest and longest days of the year?
There’s light at the end of 2017: we’re already past the shortest day, December 21, when the sun will rise at 8.03 and set at 15.53.
The Summer Solstice in the UK takes place six months later, meaning June 21 has the longest day of daylight each year.
Where in the world has the longest day?
Reykjavik is the northernmost capital on our planet, with the shortest hours of daylight during the winter and the longest hours in the summer.
On the summer solstice, it gets an incredible 21 hours and 45 minutes long of light.
Does daylight affect your mood?
Dwindling daylight can have a serious impact on your health.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a condition experienced by those who experience normal mental health during the rest of the year but suffer depression during winter months.
Light exposure is shown to impact levels of melatonin – which regulates sleep, and seretonin – a hormone that could impact mood, appetite and sleep.
The right balance of sunlight can lift your mood – as well as help with Vitamin D levels, cancer prevention, and building strong bones.
Treatment for SAD varies for different individuals, but include antidepressants and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Anyone who thinks they are suffering from the condition should consult their doctor.