As the seasons change each year, some people are particularly sensitive to the variations in sunlight patterns that occur as days become shorter and nights become longer. When a person is out of phase with day and night, hormones, chemicals, and neurotransmitters are released at the wrong times, leading to imbalances in the body’s systems.
The most difficult months for SAD sufferers are typically January and February. Since most people are affected in winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder is also referred to as the “Winter Blues.” However, SAD is not just restricted to the winter months, since some people can be equally affected during the transition to summer (a condition known as Summer Depression).
Light is a vital component in the body’s natural healing process. Studies have shown that SAD sufferers who receive light therapy start to feel better in as little as a week. Light therapy is a very gentle method for resetting the body’s circadian rhythms and re-establishing natural patterns of hormone production and sleep/wake cycles. Furthermore, light therapy in combination with medication, works better than medication alone, for most SAD sufferers. (Read more about blue light technology.)
Additional Information about Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder
- Common causes of seasonal affective disorder
- Natural and alternative treatments for seasonal affective disorder
- Dietary and lifestyle recommendations that may help in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder
- Conventional or prescription medications used in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder
- Additional reading for seasonal affective disorder