Written by Joanna Hughes

Planning to get some studying in this summer? If so, online students with air conditioning may have an advantage, according to a recent study by researchers from Poland indicating that more stress hormones are released into the bloodstream during warm weather. Here’s a closer look at the findings.

Saliva, Stress and Summer

While we often think of summer as carefree, this may not actually be the case. After studying levels of cortisol, AKA “the stress hormone,” in the saliva of medical students during the summer and winter, researchers determined that cortisol levels spiked during the summer. As the body releases cortisol in response to stress, the takeaway is clear: “It really is a cruel, cruel summer after all,” asserts the New York Post.

More On Stress and Stress Management

We’ve long known that cortisol levels are typically at their highest in the morning and drop throughout the day in order to support healthy sleep patterns. Additionally, others factors like health, sleep, and certain medications are linked with fluctuating cortisol levels. This research, however, is the first to associate seasonal patterns with cortisol production.

Says lead author Dominika Kanikowska, “We of course see seasonality in animals. But more and more results show that seasonality is also connected with human beings.”  Kanikowska also highlights the need for more research on the topic. Interested in being part of it? Check out these online bachelor degree program options.

For students, of course, stress is also linked with a number of other causes. The good news? Utilizing stress management techniques, such as meditation, exercise, spending time with family and friends, and even eating chocolate can help you stay ahead of it -- whatever the season.

Additionally, diploma programs in stress management can offer even greater insights into stress, stress-related disorders, and the advanced skills of stress management.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.
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