For some people, the transition from summer to winter triggers feelings of depression. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, affects 10 percent of Americans during the fall and winter months when the days become shorter, and weather becomes colder.
The symptoms of SAD include a marked change in personality, trouble getting out of bed, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in normal activities and overeating. Many people especially crave carbohydrates during the cold season.
Doctors aren’t exactly sure why people suffer from SAD, but they think our melatonin production (the body produces more during dark hours) can cause a person to be more drowsy than usual. Scientists speculate that the reason people with SAD often benefit from light therapy is due to the fact that light shuts off melatonin production.
Here are some great natural remedies you can start thinking about now if you know you are a seasonal sufferer of SAD:
Safe and well-tolerated, light therapy can be administered using various methods such as light boxes, light visors, and lamps. The most common form of light therapy is to absorb light 15 minutes to 1.5 hours a day from a florescent lamp. You can even find these lamps big enough to stand by or hang near your bed/bunk and automate them to turn on before dawn during winter months (mimicking real sunlight).
Exercise, even for a quick session, is a vital stimulant when you’re feeling low. – It releases feel-good endorphins! Aim to exercise outdoors during the morning hours if your schedule allows. This means moving your body in any way possible with activities such as walking, stretching, jogging, and biking.
Eat For Your Brain
Those who suffer from SAD tend to have low levels of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter which helps you feel better and is connected with another neurotransmitter, tryptophan. A few foods like turkey, milk, and egg whites contain tryptophan. You can try these foods to see if your SAD symptoms improve. Also, fruit such as oranges gradually raise serotonin levels and helps keen them where they are. – So do apples, pears, grapes, plums, grapefruit, and apricots.
Seek Natural Light
Get as much exposure from natural light you can in any way possible. Sit by an roll down your window, eat lunch outside, take a walk when you’re taking a break. Even if it’s cloudy, the natural light will help. The best times to get outdoors are between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 am., according to experts.
Warm Drinks To Lose Weight
When a carbohydrate craving hits, drink some hot bouillon or broth. Your belly will be soothed and feel fuller: explaining why this hot drink diet trick has been around for ages. Also, herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint will help relax you and perhaps replace the cravings you have for coffee or alcohol, which both aggravate symptoms of SAD.
Avoid being cold for long periods as much as possible by layering your clothes and eating warm foods. If you can manage it, spend some time in a warmer climate with longer days. For most people with SAD, it takes only two or three days of bright sun to cause a reversal of SAD symptoms.