For me, most winters in the UK can be harsh and bleak. When the weather starts to turn colder and the days get shorter I have, since my early twenties, suffered with Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. It is often referred to as a winter depression.
SAD tends to be more apparent during the winter. It normally begins in the Autumn when the days start getting shorter and then can become severe during December, January and February. SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer. Although it will always reappear each winter.
The main signs for me are I have a persistent low mood, I find it harder to get out of bed, I can be irritable and I feel lethargic. These symptoms seem to haunt me during the winter and I feel like I have been suffering with SADs for a lifetime. That was until now.
Since Christmas I have been using the Phillips Wake Up Alarm Clock. It is a dawn simulation clock that helps with the body’s 24 – hour internal clock. SAD is now believed to be an internal body clock disorder as it disrupts the body and loves the sort of chaotic 24/7 lifestyle that people try to lead.
Dawn simulations were first founded in 1890 to create a mechanical sunrise. It wasn’t until 1973 when Dr David Avery discovered the internal body clock of night did the popularity of wake up alarms and sunrise clocks begin to increase dramatically.
The goal of an artificial dawn is to help a person with an unbalanced internal clock become balanced. Once this is achieved a person can then use the clock to maintain balance so that a better longer sleep cycle can be achieved. I have been using this clock for about a month and I feel that my sleep patterns are better. Now I sleep for longer without waking in the night and I feel better able to get out of bed in the morning.
As well as the Wake Up Alarm Clock I have also been using light therapy in the morning. Before Christmas I bought the Lumie Vitamin L light. It is now known that people who suffer with SAD have an excess of serotonin which transports protein, during the winter months. Light therapy has been proven to redresses the balance in about 85 per cent of cases.
The best time I have found to use light therapy is as soon as I get up in the morning. I have included it as part of my morning routine. For more details of my morning routine please click here. I am starting to feel much better during my day and I feel like the winter has not affected me as much as it once did. It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning and I feel I have more energy during the day.
The light I have chosen is the slimline and lightweight version. We go on holiday every February and I wanted a light I would be able to take with me. The light itself has a realistic warm sunlight effect and this is the only brand that comes with an adjustable stand for both portrait and landscape.
Both these products were not cheap but they are affordable and for me they have been well worth the investment. I have started to feel much better this winter. My energy levels are up and my concentration levels are good too. I also feel I am accomplishing more during the day. If you are suffering with SAD, these are two products that could help you. Again, both these products were in the more expensive range and there are cheaper alternatives on the market. All I suggest is to do research and find what works for you.
Do you suffer with SAD and how do you cope at this time of year? Let me know in the comments below and please don’t forget to like and follow my blog.