“THIS is a rude awakening! We knew it couldn’t last.”

A few brave people had ventured out for a walk in the rain, the day after the heatwave.

Everyone I passed looked to the heavens and commented on the unwanted change.

Only they didn’t get the response they expected, because to me the rain and the drop in temperatures was a welcome relief.

I hate summer. Apart from the fact that the car gives me less trouble, it is a horrible season.

Waking up to what I know will be long days, with cloudless skies and the unrelenting glare of the sun fills me with dread.

I hate everything about summer. The heat gets me down. It saps my energy. On July 25, during what was supposedly the hottest day ever recorded in the UK, I felt light-headed after and didn’t fully recover for 24 hours.

I can’t sleep. Snuggling under a duvet with a hot water bottle is the only way to properly nod off, not sprawled on top of a single sheet, tossing and turning, bathed in sweat.

I don’t like summer fashions. I am a cardigan and woolly tights person. I don’t do short and skimpy or light and floaty.

My husband loves light nights, when he can come home from work and do a couple of hours gardening. I like nothing better than arriving home on a dark, cold evening and lighting the stove.

Am I normal? Yes, I am. I was happy to read this week about ‘summer-SAD’, a seasonal affective disorder. Just as a lack of sunlight in the winter months can trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD), evidence is emerging that long hours of daylight and heat during summer can also wreak havoc with people’s body clocks. This has been dubbed ‘reverse-SAD’ or ‘summer-SAD’ and it leads to a dip in mood and even depression.

One well-known sufferer is doctor and journalist Dr Max Pemberton who, during the hot spell, wrote: ‘I dread the endless hours of daylight, feel uncomfortable sitting out in the sunshine, avoid trips to the beach and cannot stand picnics, barbecues and all the other so-called joys of summer. Given the choice, I’d opt for an overcast day with the prospect of light drizzle every time.’ You and me both, Max.

‘I’m not mad and I’m not alone,’ he writes. In fact, some people’s negative response to sunshine is so marked that it is now being recognised as a medical condition.

Scientists aren’t entirely sure what triggers the summer-blues. However, animal studies have found that variations in a region of the mid-brain can affect mood in relation to exposure to sunlight.

Other research suggests that summer-SAD may be down to changes in melatonin, the hormone in the brain that helps to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Excess light can result in the brain not making enough, causing insomnia and jet-lag type symptoms.

Clinical studies are needed to see if a new medication can help, writes Dr Pemberton.

I’d be a willing guinea pig. I start to feel less well at the first signs of summer and see the season as an ordeal to be got through, rather like a prison sentence.

I feel myself relaxing when signs of autumn appear - school uniforms in shops, darker evenings and trees on the turn.

Winter SAD sufferers are helped by a light box. I need a cool, dark room I can retreat to from June to the end of August. Dr Pemberton reveals that during last year’s prolonged heatwave, he booked a week of annual leave ‘so I could stay in my flat with the blinds closed, and I didn’t venture out until after dark.’ Makes perfect sense to me.