Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

 

Life is about balance – balancing positive and negative forces, balancing your yin and your yang. Natural sunlight can have many positive, as well as negative effects on our mood, and our body. It’s all about having the right balance of sunlight. What’s interesting is that during daytime you will benefit differently than you would during nighttime. It has been proven that during the day, the right amount of exposure to the sun will allow your brain to release a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone that reduces depression, regulates anxiety, heals wounds, and maintains bone health. During nighttime, when there is no exposure to sunlight, your brain releases a hormone called melatonin that allows your brain to relax and help you fall asleep.

Interestingly, blue light from digital devices including mobile phones, computers and digital TVs, tricks your brain into thinking it is daylight. This can reduce melatonin production which interferes with your circadian rhythm making sleeping difficult. This is why I recommend using glasses or a screen to filter out blue light when you’re working on a digital device. Use code HollywoodEyes to get a friends and family discount from @launchprotect.

Sadness, fatigue, hunger, and lack of sleep are not good for your mental health, so considering that sunlight helps with all of this, you can say that exposure to the right amount of light is important. A decrease in the right amount of sunlight will rapidly drop your serotonin levels potentially making you experience something called seasonal affective disorder, better known as SAD. SAD is common to occur during winter time, when we are exposed to less sunlight. Thankfully we do not have as many cases of SAD in Southern California because we have sun year round. If you live in an area that doesn’t get enough sun during the winter, there are many products that will allow you to experience the right amount of light to trigger your vision and boost your mood.

Full spectrum lighting can help manage SAD. Full spectrum lighting is a device that mimics natural sunlight to reach your retina which then triggers the release of serotonin. This device allows your circadian rhythm to be influenced by artificial light. To note, circadian rhythm is a physical, mental, and behavioral change. For example, sleeping at night and being awake during the day is part of the circadian rhythm.

Full spectrum lighting not only replaces natural sunlight and helps your circadian rhythm during the winter, but it also improves color perception, visual clarity, mood, productivity, and mental awareness. I recommend checking out @verilux as they have a variety of full spectrum lighting devices.

Thank you to @savatang for suggesting this topic for my daily holistic wellness blog.

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Author
Dr. Elise Brisco

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