Seasonal affective disorder is a condition that causes people to feel overly tired, emotionally drained and even potentially depressed during the darker winter months. The reason for this is usually put down to a lack of sunlight. As the body isn’t getting the sunlight that it normally would in the morning, this can result in your natural body-clock falling out of sync. You’re now missing the ‘external zeitgeber’ (external cue) that the body uses to set its circadian rhythms and as such, your body wants to sleep longer when you’re forcing yourself out of bed.
Meanwhile, reduced activity, fresh air and sunlight exposure follow due to the individual being forced indoors by dark, wet, cold and windy weather! This in turn can cause lethargy, cabin fever and a shift in hormones, all of which contribute to the symptoms associated with SAD.
While the term is still somewhat vague and the precise causes aren’t fully understood, it is generally agreed that a combination of these factors impact on people in different ways and cause them to feel generally ‘low’ during winter months. To overcome the problem, here are some things you can try.
1. Daylight Lamp
Essentially, a daylight lamp is a lamp that emits a light that is close to the wavelength that is produced by the sun. This is therefore able to essentially ‘trick’ the brain into thinking it’s witnessing a sunrise and that in turn triggers neurochemicals just the same way as the sun would.
Daylight lamps come in all shapes and sizes and you can get them for your desk, for lamps around your various rooms and more.