More Info

Spend £50, save 5% with healthy5, Spend £100, save 10% with healthy10

Spend £50, save 5% with healthy5, Spend £100, save 10% with healthy10

Tips for reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder

Blog / Seasonal Affective Disorder / Tips for reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder
Back to Articles

Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD, is a real form of depression brought on for most sufferers by the darker months. If you’re one of around 5% of people who experience the symptoms of SAD, you’ll know just how debilitating it can be.  

Some put these symptoms down to a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm: the 24-hour clock that regulates how we function during sleeping and waking hours. Others think that seasonal changes affect hormones, eg: serotonin and melatonin, which are known to regulate sleep patterns, mood, and feelings of well-being.

So much for the possible causes. So what can you do to help combat symptoms of SAD?

Light therapy.

One of the most popular treatment options is a light therapy box that gives off light which is significantly brighter than a normal light bulb to mimic sunshine, stimulating your body’s circadian rhythms to suppress the release of melatonin. Most people find light therapy to be most effective if used when they first get up in the morning, though you might prefer to sit in front of a light box for a set period of time – 30 minutes say – each day.  

Talk to your doctor.

Darker days and winter weather affects most people’s mood, so it mightn’t be SAD Though whatever your reason for feeling down in the dumps, sharing your feelings usually helps, and your doctor should be able to offer you sound advice, and determine whether you have SAD or some other form of depression.

Spend more time outdoors.

Researchers have linked lower levels of vitamin D from sunlight to reduced levels of serotonin, the chemical that lightens mood. So the more time you spend outside, the more sunlight you can absorb. Even if it’s cloudy, every little helps. The closer to noon it is, the better – that’s when the sun is brightest. If the weather’s cold, just wrap up well. You’ll notice the difference.

Get some exercise.

Exercise has been proved to benefit mood and can definitely help to ease seasonal affective disorder. If you can exercise outdoors, so much the better. Just a walk, or better still a bike ride, weather permitting, can help. And because weight gain is more common with seasonal affective disorder, exercise can help offset that too. 

Take a holiday.

Taking time out to go somewhere warmer and brighter, away from the darkness and cold, can’t help but give your spirits a lift. If symptoms of SAD are a regular seasonal problem for you, plan to make a winter escape to warmer, brighter climes your yearly resolution.

Get more Vitamin D.

Research has linked low levels of Vitamin D to seasonal affective disorder. What’s more, another study found that people who took Vitamin D supplements saw significant improvement in their depression. Your doctor can check your Vitamin D levels and help you decide whether supplements would be right for you.

For the latest health and wellbeing products and advice, sign up to The Healthy House newsletter. Any questions or want to chat to someone please contact us or call us on 01453 752216.

Cruelty Free
Organic Products