Relieve your winter depression
In winter, our body responds to the reduction in hours and amount of sunlight in the autumn by producing the hormone melatonin. This affects your biological clock, your sleep and sometimes also your mood. That is why it is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Light therapy can soothe this SAD.
People who suffer from SAD find that their mood gets lower as the days get shorter. If you suffer from prolonged SAD, your body seems less able to adapt to the decreasing amount of light. This can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or biological clock, worsen your sleep and have a negative effect your mood.
The good news is that as the days lengthen, the complaints diminish. The less good news is that many people who suffer from depression find the symptoms worsen every winter. It is therefore advisable to take these complaints seriously.
What causes SAD
It is not entirely clear what causes winter depression. On the Thuisarts website www.thuisarts.nl/depressie/ik-heb-winterdepressie we read that it is probably a combination of:
- Insufficient vitamin D production due to too little daylight
- Sleep deprivation due to a disrupted biological clock
- Excess production of the sleep hormone melatonin
- Reduced production of serotonin, a substance in your brain that affects your mood
You can treat winter depression with light. There is not yet much evidence supporting this treatment, but many users of Sunshower® say that they benefit from extra light in the winter. In particular, the use of the UV function can provide a greater feeling of vitality and more energy. UV light, especially UVB light, is vital to the production of vitamin D in the skin. In recent years, more and more research has been conducted into the influence of vitamin D on the immune system. The reason for all these studies is that influenza hardly occurs in the summer; the period when we are outside more often and our skin can produce more vitamin D. This vitamin plays a central role in regulating the immune system and may also help to relieve or prevent winter depression.