This Article is About
seasonal affective disorder
whole wheat pasta
vitamin b complex
serotonin levels
exercise regime
biological reasons
complex carbs
winter blues
full spectrum
How To Fight Winter Depression And Seasonal Affective Disorder
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How to Fight Winter Depression And Seasonal Affective Disorder

When fall and winter arrive, do you find yourself feeling lethargic, sleepy, unmotivated, and maybe even depressed? This is actually a fairly common occurrence, especially occurring in persons living farther and farther from the equator. It is commonly known as Winter Depression, or Winter Blues. An extreme case, diagnosed by a physician, is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Would you like to alleviate this problem, but naturally, and without the use of over the counter or prescription drugs?

Some Symptoms of Winter Depression

  • You feel depressed (mildly or more)
  • You have less energy, or no energy – you feel lethargic
  • You sleep too much
  • You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning
  • You crave carbohydrates, and are gaining weight

Why Do We Get Depressed in the Winter?

There are several biological reasons for the seasonal mood variations called winter blues.

The underlying factor seems to be the shorter days and less daylight. Decreased exposure to sunlight results in a reduction of the chemical neurotransmitter called serotonin which is a hormone that makes you feel more rested, energetic, and happy, conversely less sunlight also triggers the body to make more melatonin, the hormone that tends to make us feel sleepy.

Ways to Fight the Winter Blues

  • Increase time spent outdoors on sunny days
  • Start an exercise regime. Exercise itself increases seratonin levels
  • Eat healthy foods. If you are craving carbs, go for complex carbs including whole wheat pasta, brown rice, fruits, corn and potatoes
  • Add supplements of Vitamin D and Vitamin B complex. These also increase serotonin levels.
  • Use Light Treatment Photo Therapy. Decrease fall and winter depression through regular exposure to full spectrum or fluorescent light.

Of all the ways to cure winter depression or SAD, perhaps the most effective solution is Light Therapy. There are special lamps or “light boxes” that give off 2500 to 10,000 lux (the measure of illumination) each with is own advantages, depending in the features you are looking for. You sit within a couple feet of the light for 15-30 minutes in the morning (and afternoon if you feel you need it). If you do this habitually, you should feel results after 2-3 weeks.

There are several lamps made for light therapy. I actually have 2 different ones – a desktop model by my computer, and a smaller, portable one that I can use at the office or when traveling. I highly recommend these lights to help you cure winter depression, and feel more positive and energetic when spring finally comes around again.

Street Talk

Great article. This helped me. Thanks!

  about 1 decade ago
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