Who doesn't feel a little bit more lethargic and a little less cheerful in the darker, cloudier months? Most of us prefer the brighter sunnier days of spring and summer but we get through the winter without any great problems.
However, if you suffer from S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder), winter can become much more of a problem to you. Symptoms vary in intensity but include loss of energy, fatigue, depression, sleeping problems and a craving for carbohydrates. You may suffer from these and feel you simply have to snap out of it. You may even think you are just being lazy or that you are starting to suffer from depression.
S.A.D. is actually the result of the increased production of melatonin caused by the lack of daylight during the winter. It is only by replacing this lost light by using bright light therapy that the body starts to produce enough serotonin again making you feel more energetic and less tired and gloomy. So no need to feel frustrated, embarrassed or guilty. You can even rent a light box for a month to see whether it does the trick for you.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the 'winter blues', is a condition caused by lack of exposure to sunlight. This occurs generally when the days get shorter and darker during the winter months, but can also be triggered by a move to a darker climate or a darker house or office. Light is instrumental in affecting the brain's chemistry. This is connected to the production of melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is the hormone that is connected to sleep. This is produced in greater quantities in the dark. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between the nerves in the brain, which is produced at lower levels in darker conditions. Lack of serotonin is known to be a cause of depression.
It is not yet fully understood why some people will get S.A.D. symptoms in winter while others will not. More research is going on in this field all the time.
Many sufferers know that they feel low in the winter months. Some may have had a name given to their condition but MOST people do not realise that there is an effective and painless treatment and that the treatment does work. Because S.A.D. is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight, it can sometimes be easily treated with bright light therapy. By simply sitting in front of a light box on a daily basis symptoms of S.A.D. can be drastically reduced or eliminated. Our S.A.D. products include light boxes and light therapy alarm clocks. If you are unsure as to whether a light box is the right things for you, try our light box rental service which lets you rent a light box by the month.
References: Some of the information for this page was taken from the book "Winter Blues" by Norman E Rosenthal.
Please note: Information included in this website is intended for information purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner. We cannot guarantee that the products recommended will be suitable for everyone with S.A.D or associated conditions.