Do you often feel down at this time of year? It’s not uncommon and you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
According to Sue Pavlovich, media spokesperson for the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association, there are certain things Nifties can do to boost their mood and come to terms with the fact that the colder weather will be here for a while.
“Nutritionists say that tryptophan boosts serotonin, a mood-enhancing hormone. It is found in eggs, milk, fish, nuts, bananas, dates, oats, chocolate and other foods. It is also sensible to eat complex carbohydrates in preference to refined carbohydrates (for example, wholemeal instead of white bread) and to avoid excessive amounts of these foods in any case,” she explained.
There are thought to be millions of people in the UK who put up with the feelings of depression caused by the change in seasons, with an estimated seven per cent of the population dealing with SAD and a further 17 per cent experiencing the ‘winter blues’, the Telegraph reported.
The loss of natural daylight is thought to be a trigger and brings with it depressive symptoms such as sleep problems, lethargy and decreased libido.
But artificial light could help to get sufferers’ circadian body clock back in sync with the 24-hour day, as the problem may be due to individuals producing too much melatonin and not enough serotonin in the winter months when daylight is lacking.
“Light therapy (with light boxes) is recommended by SADA. In severe cases anti-depressant medication may be needed,” Ms Pavlovich noted.
“Other therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy have been shown to help. Dawn simulation may be beneficial if used in conjunction with light therapy.”
In other countries, such as Sweden, which only gets five hours of daylight in the winter, light cafes are being used as a stop-off point for SAD sufferers where they can sit in UV-free lighting for a while and enjoy a coffee.
Do you think Starbucks would do the same here?
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