I just saw an interesting clip on SADD, which is a common disorder which affects the mood during the winter months, especially in climates where there is not a whole lot of natural sunlight or radiant heat (part of sunlight’s warming and mood enhancing powers), in the winter months. I’m in one such state in the US, Ohio, and there are a lot of people that report that they many times will get the winter blahs during the long months after Christmas when the hoopla of the holidays is over and we are socked in for a long, hard winter without much outdoor exposure or sunlight.
It is estimated the SADD may affect up to thirty million Americans during the sometimes long, drawn out winter season, and it mostly hits those in the areas that tend to get the longest and coldest winters. There are places in Alaska that don’t see daylight for weeks at a time, for example. I totally identify with the feeling that you just want to go to bed and bury your head in the blankets if you get off work and it’s already dark outside.
I usually leave work around a quarter to six o’clock and by that time it’s already dark as midnight outside, and it does something to turn my biological clock to “snooze”. Hopelessness, fatigue, and a depressed and withdrawn mood are some of the symptoms of SADD. It is said that SADD is caused by the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that is released when we are ready for bed. Because of the fact that our exposure to daylight is limited, our body clocks are thrown off and we tend to want to sleep more, which prolongs any depression we may feel.
You may want to try an herbal remedy for depression and anxiety to help you come out of the winter blues, since herbs, certain vitamins and minerals and other nutrients may help combat the elements of SADD that are related to deficiencies in the body. 5htp may help lift the mood, and there’s also always St. John’s Wort for those that it works for. You also should avoid high carb foods, and make sure you get your aerobic activities in, and this helps elevate mood naturally.
You can also try light therapy, or take a trip to a sunny place if finances allow of course, that’s always a great winter pick me up! Many who try light therapy report better moods and more of an ability to get through the winter blues months without the frequent depressed moods, and report a better energy level as well.