SAD-Seasonal Affective Disorder

 Usually when I talk about SAD I am referring to the Standard American Diet. Today I am talking about the winter blues. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real condition felt in the winter months when the days are short and the nights are long. We don’t get outside as much and the sunshine on our bodies is limited. Not everyone can run off to a sunny beach every winter for relief.

Some 14 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. SAD is a type of depression caused by shortened exposure to daylight. Symptoms begin in the fall, as daylight hours shorten.

People with SAD tend to oversleep and overeat during the fall and winter. They easily tire, and find it difficult to maintain a regular schedule. Some become depressed and irritable, and lose interest in social interactions.

SAD is thought to be caused by a disturbance in the sleep-wake cycle. Less sunlight leads to higher levels of the hormone melatonin, which can affect mood.

Typical treatments for SAD include anti-depressant medicines, light or phototherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Light therapy (exposure to special bright lights) is effective in as many as 70 percent of patients.

For unknown reasons, three-quarters of those affected by SAD are women. Certain disorders, such as hypothyroidism or mononucleosis, can mimic the symptoms of SAD.

I do not believe that you need anti-depressant medications as there are plenty of effective natural remedies for SAD.

Optimizing you vitamin D levels with supplements is key. Make sure you get vitamin K2 with your vitamin D supplement for proper absorption. Getting outside as much as possible and exercising are other great remedy’s. Keeping a journal of your feelings can be helpful too! Full spectrum light therapy is effective especially if you can’t get away for a week on the beach in the middle of winter! Keeping to the same schedule is important too, go to bed and get up at the same time all year long. Maybe even learn to enjoy shoveling snow!

Submitted by Tricia @ Nutrition by Tricia

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