Cold Weather Got You Down?

Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months. This recurring depression subsides in spring and summer. While the cause is unknown, experts suspect that an increased level of melatonin in the blood could be the main contributing factor. Melatonin increases the need and desire to sleep, and is more readily produced when it is colder and darker outside. With less daylight, the biological clock that regulates mood, sleep and hormones in the body are also delayed and run more slowly in the winter.

Thinking that you or a loved one is suffering from SAD? Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy and feeling fatigued
  • Decreased interest in daily activities
  • Moodiness and irritability

To relieve the symptoms of SAD, experts recommend increasing the amount of light that is in your home by opening the shades, trimming trees around windows and adding skylights. It is also helpful to get outside and take a walk on a sunny day, even when temperatures are chilly. In addition, exercise daily to relieve stress, find ways to relax and take a vacation to somewhere sunny.