Loss of winter daylight can trigger sadness for some people
With winter comes shorter days and longer nights. That lack of sunlight can trigger seasonal affective disorder for some.
Symptoms of the disorder can be sadness, a lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, even a change in diet.
Exposure to sun and Vitamin D is the key to coping, says Dr. Susan Albers of the Cleveland Clinic.
“Seasonal affective disorder is caused by the change in light and your circadian rhythms. When there are short, cold, dark days, we experience less sunlight. This interrupts the release of serotonin and melatonin, which impact our sleep and our mood,” said Alberts. “There is also a drop in vitamin D because we get vitamin D from the sunlight.”
Albert says you can sit near a window with the shades open for a few minutes each day.
A light therapy lamp that mimics sunlight is another option.
If you notice your symptoms aren’t improving with time – or that light- you should speak with a mental health professional.