Are your moods and energy levels affected by the shorter days in winter?
Having the Winter Blues or SAD, (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the winter months is very common in the UK. As soon as the clocks go back in autumn and the daylight hours start reducing, as many as one in three of us are affected. Shorter days can disrupt our natural body clocks leading to persistent feelings of low mood, lack of motivation, inability to focus and sleep problems.
Once spring arrives, and the days get longer again, symptoms often disappear of their own accord.
Some SAD patients have the opposite problem and have feelings of low mood and depression in summer. Longer daylight hours interfere with their body’s natural circadian rhythms and they can never ‘switch off’. This can also lead to insomnia and reduced appetite. Their symptoms often improve when autumn arrives.
Research commissioned in 2014 found that women are 40% more likely to experience SAD symptoms than men, although men and teenagers suffer too.
“I never took SAD seriously until I started getting it and it could be mentally debilitating. But after taking Cathy’s remedy last winter I felt significantly brighter and my partner commented that I had noticeably “perked up”.
Mr M B, Whitchurch, Hants.
Top Natural Tip:
- Getting out in the natural sunshine as much as possible. This helps reset your body’s own internal clock and stimulate your pineal gland, improving both mood and sleep. Morning sunshine on your forehead is most useful – if possible for 20 minutes a day.
Remedies, Supplements and other Treatment Alternatives:
- Homeopathic remedies – there is a SAD mix that can be amazingly helpful but there are lots of other remedies for low mood too.
- Good quality fish oils can also make an enormous difference. Recently I recommended taking fish oils to a teenager with low mood and anxiety (alongside homeopathic remedies) and the difference in 4 weeks was astounding.
- Vitamin D.
- Light Therapy using lightboxes – these are not available on the NHS, so you will need to buy your own and can have mixed results and are not always suitable particularly for children
- Talking therapies.
- Anti-depressants prescribed by your GP.
Symptoms can include:
- Persistently feeling low, weepy and hopeless.
- Low energy, not wanting to go out and a general lack of motivation.
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Sleep problems – often feeling very sleepy, even during the day or insomnia if affected in the summer months.
- Craving carbs and overeating
- Lower immune system and vulnerability to infections