Autumn might bring us leaves in beautiful shades and the beloved sweater weather, but it comes with several unpleasant things as well. The transition to harsh winter should come gradually, so days have already started getting shorter. During this time of the year, people have a lot of trouble getting up while it’s still dark, and show less interest in the things they used to enjoy. These are several symptoms of the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
What is SAD?
SAD is characterized by longer periods spent sleeping, decreased energy, irritability, increase of appetite and weight gain, having a hard time concentrating, and less interest towards regular activities. People might start experience such symptoms in autumn, while they reach their peak during winter.
As an explanation, the shorter days might be the real culprit here. Since people spend fewer time outside during daylight, our circadian rhythms are affected, disturbing our entire balance. Usually, people who live at higher latitudes have such problems.
About 33 million Americans experience SAD, which has somehow milder symptoms. They are just less productive, less happy, and have lower energy. However, 14 million other Americans struggle with real depression during this time of the month.
What can we do to keep SAD away?
The secret seems to hide in the amount of natural light we get. If you don’t have enough time to go out while it’s still daylight, you can purchase some special equipment which simulates natural light either in the morning, or during late afternoon, when darkness starts spreading. Doing this as soon as days start getting shorter can prevent you from developing severe symptoms later during winter.
Also, take advantage of the few hours left of daylight, as they can work wonders on your mental state. Be as active as possible during these hours, and don’t neglect the benefits of working out. In the end, if your symptoms are still serious, this means it’s time to go see your doctor and ask for professional advice.
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