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Is Natural Light Important in winter??

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (often abbreviated as “SAD”) can impact people who feel fine the rest of the year. However, suddenly when winter hits, they find that their mood changes dramatically. In fact, estimates show that 10% of people suffer from this problem. Also Seasonal Affective Disorder is far more likely to affect women than men. More women have SAD then men by a 3:1 ratio! The lack of sunlight during the winter can cause problems with our internal clocks and circadian rhythms. Also less access to the sun and shorter days can cause our serotonin levels to drop during the winter. Lack of serotonin in the body can also make us depressed.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are very similar to symptoms of clinical depression. Problems include decreased appetite, weight loss, decreased sex drive, feelings of isolation, depression and sometimes even suicidal feelings. Now if you go to a psychiatrist and get evaluated as having SAD, more than likely you will be prescribed some prescription medications. While these prescription antidepressants may help with your SAD, they also will be more than likely to have unintended side effects.

The good news is that there are a wide variety of natural ways of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder. Many of these treatments can be very effective and are even suggested by doctors. Supplements that are recommended to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder include St. Johns Wort, Vitamin D, and increase of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Also make sure you get more natural sunlight each day. This should be one of the first treatments to try to improve your mood. One thing you can do is open your window coverings and get light during every possible opportunity. (If you have a small window you should get a bigger one -like the ones they have at : The Sash Window Shop)Also if you can go for a walk during your lunch break, this can be extremely effective. Getting more physical activity has also been shown to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Look out the window and pay attention to the weather. When you see the sun is shining, try to get outside and take advantage of that fact. Actually getting natural sun exposure on your skin can make a big difference.

Many psychiatrists recommend the use of light therapy to their patients as a treatment for SAD. With light therapy, people sit in front of a special light box or lamp each day.

If you have been feeling down during the winter, get proactive. Try some natural solutions and see if they make a difference for you.

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