Sunlight & Serotonin
As the days get shorter and/or darker, we lose out on the sunlight we need, and that leads to not having enough serotonin. The serotonin deficit causes all kinds of problem, as you know if you experience winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) every year.
Years ago, it was suggested that you eat lunch outdoors, or find other ways to get a half hour of sunlight as often as you can during the fall & winter. And that is important for anyone who doesn't get enough vitamin D. But it hasn't always been enough for winter blues sufferers.
"In 2016, scientists in Canada discovered that people with severe SAD show greater seasonal changes in a protein that terminates the action of serotonin than others with no or less severe symptoms, suggesting that the condition and the neurotransmitter are linked.It’s possible that many of these mechanisms are at work, even if the precise relationships haven’t been fully teased apart yet. But regardless of what causes winter depression, bright light—particularly when delivered in the early morning—seems to reverse the symptoms." ~ TheAtlantic.com
Hygge & Light Therapy
Quite a bit about winter blues & seasonal affective disorder is still a mystery. But they do seem to know that bright light helps, as does sunlight.
For maximum help, stack the deck. Get full spectrum lamps or light bulbs, add LED lights & a light box. Notice what seems to work.
For me, it has taken a bit of trial and error. Using the light box at night keeps me up too late, and the earlier I use it, the easier it is to get going the next day.
I also notice feeling happier when the LED lights are on at night, but I need to turn them off well ahead of bedtime. I never want to do it, though (another way I know it must be helping.)
What helps you with winter? Do you use extra light?
See you next time!