There’s a lot to love about fall – including these health benefits…

To start, we sleep more. Thanks to the earlier sunset, people get a bigger hit of melatonin, the sleep hormone. So we tend to go to bed earlier – and additional sleep improves cardiac health. In fact, that’s why heart attack rates drop right after the switch back to standard time.

Another health benefit that comes with fall: An increase in oxytocin, the bonding hormone. When there’s a chill in the air, we’re more inclined to cuddle up – with our partner, or even a pet. And the increase oxytocin reduces depression.

Fall is also prime time for healthy foods - like pumpkin and squash. Beta-carotene is an organic compound that gives pumpkin and squash it’s orange-y color. It also helps prevent certain cancers, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

But aside from improving our health on the inside, pumpkin also makes us look good on the outside. Because our body converts the beta-carotene from pumpkin into vitamin A. And vitamin A helps combat dryness, and promotes cell turnover – all of which leads to smoother skin. And we can get our daily requirement of A from a half-cup of cooked pumpkin.