It’s expected that overcast skies might take the pep out of our step, but a recent study reported on by HealthDay News also linked less sunlight to memory and cognitive problems in those who suffer from depression.

Researchers used NASA weather data to evaluate the effect of light exposure on levels of cognitive impairment in people who don’t suffer from depression versus those who do. They found that depressed study participants who received more sunlight over a two-week period had better cognitive function compared with those who didn’t.

The study’s authors also confirmed that the melatonin and serotonin hormonal systems are involved in depression.

“When people are a little depressed, they don’t pay attention, and if they don’t pay attention, they’re not going to remember things,” said Richard Isaacson, MD, an assistant professor of neurology and medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “Increased serotonin levels increase attention, which means you remember stuff better and the mind works better. It’s a simple concept.”

Interested in sharpening your memory? Read RH’s “Good’ Cholesterol Helps Prevent Memory Loss” for some brain building info.