The days are getting shorter.

So short, we won't have a day with more than nine hours of light anytime for more than a month.

Nobody knows this as well as First News StormTracker Meteorologist Jared Piepenburg.

"I usually get up around 1:30 or so," said Piepenburg, who usually gets into work at WDAY TV around 2 a.m.

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Sure, he always gets up before the sun, but according to Piepenburg, it isn't all bad.

"One thing about this schedule is I get a lot of time after work. I try to go to bed at 6, which may sound crazy for a lot of people," Piepenburg said.

But not everyone is fortunate enough to take in the rare winter sunlight.

The lack of light can cause what used to be called seasonal affective disorder or SAD for short. It's now called major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.

It's not known exactly what causes it, but according to Dr. Amy Werremeyer with North Dakota State University, daylight is thought to be a factor.

"It's certainly one of the theories about what the causes are, having to do with reduction of light," said Werremeyer, PharmD, BCPP.

Put simply, people with the disorder make fewer hormones in their brain which make them happy.

You should seek help medical attention if the condition starts to affect your quality of life.

"If it limits function, they can't get out of bed, constantly fatigued," Werremeyer said.

There are treatments available though.

"Medications are encouraged and light therapy is another possible treatment," Werremeyer said.

Light therapy uses a lamp which emits a very specific type of light. Research has shown light therapy can be effective in mitigating the symptoms of major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.

If you're not lucky enough to be out and about when there is daylight, the good news is the days will start getting longer in just a few weeks.

But, if it becomes too much to handle, health professionals say you shouldn't hesitate to seek help.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, despite popular belief, suicide rates go down during the winter months.

If you need help, you can speak to trained call specialists by calling 211.