Seasonal Affective Disorder: Tips To Combat Condition With The Changing Seasons

Some people are not fond of the changing seasons. Everytime winter, spring, summer or fall is coming, they experience a sudden change in their mood that affects their quality of life. 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to changes in seasons. Since winter is right around the corner, more people may again experience this disorder during the transition. 

SAD usually hits people in the late fall or early winter and continues through the spring or summer. 

“Some people can find it difficult to adjust to the change,” Mark Aloia, a psychologist specializing in sleep medicine, told CNN. “This is because the body's circadian system — which helps balance and indicate a person's sleep cycle with cues from the environment, including sunlight and darkness — is disrupted.”

The disrupted sleep because of seasonal blues could then lead to other problems, such as reduced productivity during the day. However, there are ways to prevent or at least reduce the effects of SAD. 

Get Some Light Therapy Boxes

The American Psychological Association (APA) said light therapy boxes are one of the mostly used products to reduce the effects of SAD. They simulate natural outdoor light by emitting artificial light at 10,000 lux.

Indoor light at such intensity mimics the sunlight at midday. Studies showed that even lower intensity light therapy boxes could help reset the biological clock.

Put Wake-Up Lights In Your Room

During winter months, the sun rises later, extending the darkness in the morning. Wake-up lights could help brighten your room like natural sunlight to help you wake up properly and avoid stress early in the morning. 

“Research shows that people do best when they rise with light. In fact, studies have shown that exposure to bright light in the morning can help people wake up feeling more ready for their day,” Aloia said. “During these fall and winter months when there is less exposure to sunlight, it can be helpful to counteract the effects of lost sunlight with bright, artificial light therapy.”

Use Weighted Blankets In Bed

Aside from waking up smoothly in the morning, the quality of your sleep also plays an important role in treating SAD. Weighted blankets might help you get the right amount of rest you would need at night. 

In fact, many people with insomnia or anxiety have been using these blankets to help them sleep. Studies showed that sleeping under weight could help ease tension in mind and body, leading to better sleep.

Kathrin Hamm, CEO and founder of weighted blanket company Bearaby, said weighted blankets “give users the deepest, most restful sleep." She added the material simulates “a comforting hug,” which helps calm the nervous system.

Winter Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that usually hits people in the late fall or early winter. Pixabay