How does the Weather affect SAD?

There are a number of factors that are known to contribute towards causing Seasonal Affective Disorder besides a significant lack of sunlight.  One in particular is thought to be the climate changing throughout the year, so we’ve looked at how does the weather affect SAD? While SAD is predominantly referred to as the ‘Winter Blues’ due to the effects the darker and colder season has on people who suffer from it experience, there are those who are affected by ‘Summertime Blues’ as well.  It is thought that the weather itself could have both minor and significant implications if you do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, especially if you live in a place like the UK where the conditions can wildly vary every day. The expectation of bright sunshine and warm weather can equally bring a much better outlook for some people, as it does others who find the heat and too much brightness unfavourable.  Either way the uncertainty and effect that gloomy, wet and cold weather can have, may be debilitating. Spells of bad weather can ruin expectations and plans that can make you feel unhappy, which can lead to negative connotations connected to that kind of weather which may become almost a natural response.  So each time that there is even a sign of the weather changing those feelings of gloom, disappointment and even depression can appear. It can be difficult to disassociate with those feelings, especially if you suffer from other forms of depression including Seasonal Affective Disorder but studies into how the weather affects SAD and even general ill-feeling when the conditions turn not to our...

10 Diet tips to ease the symptoms of SAD

There are a few different ways you can help manage the often debilitating effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, one of which is to change your eating habits to include foods that will help give you energy to help keep you going.  So you can choose the right foods, we have created a guide of 10 Diet Tips to help ease the symptoms of SAD. Proteins Foods that contain plenty of protein will give you an energy boost that can help battle feeling tired and fatigued.  Lean proteins in particular are also a source of the amino acids which are basically the building blocks of life and can aid in muscle recovery and boosting the metabolism  so you may feel better overall.  The types of food that are rich in proteins include dairy like cheese, milk and eggs; nuts, seeds, pulses and beans; soy products, white poultry and seafood. Limit simple carbs and sugar The amount of simple carbs you eat which is found in white rice and white breads along with sugary foods and drinks will cause your blood sugar levels to rise which will give you a temporary boost, but as your body floods you with insulin you will quickly drop down to low levels of energy again.  Instead at the least moderate your intake, but aim for natural sugars and foods containing complex carbohydrates instead. Reduce your caffeine intake Most people enjoy a cup of coffee every now and then and it is fine to do so for the majority of people, but it does suppress Serotonin which if you suffer from SAD, the lack of which...

Should I choose a Bluelight or Whitelight SAD treatment?

Have you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder?  Then you need to establish the most effective treatment.  Any medical professional can advise on the best course of action which may include light therapy treatment.  If so you will find yourself asking ‘Should I choose a Bluelight or Whitelight SAD treatment’? There are noticeable differences between Bluelight SAD lights and whitelight devices besides the obvious colour that have advantages over each other, depending on your lifestyle and the status of your health. Bluelight SAD Lights Bluelight devices only use LED’s to replicate the natural blue wavelength of light.  This specific wavelength is less intense than the full spectrum of white light, but more effective as it removes the unnecessary ones; so while it creates the medically required 10,000 lux to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, it actually reduces the overall treatment time to 15-20 minutes.  This makes them ideal if you lead a busy lifestyle and also are much more compact so easy to take to work or on holiday. Full spectrum or Whitelight SAD Lights The traditional Whitelight SAD lights, sometimes referred to as ‘Full Spectrum’ lights typically give off at least the required ten thousand lux required to treat SAD.  The spectrum of white light also includes every wavelength of light similar to sunlight so more closely replicates what we experience on a daily basis.  While historically white SAD lights used bulbs (and many still do) there are some that use white LED’s instead which give more economical use.  Treatment time is longer for white SAD lights ranging on average between 30 minutes to...

Are you feeling SAD in the Summertime?

Seasonal Affective Disorder primarily causes problems for sufferers during the winter months, however for a smaller portion of the population and even some who experience winter depression may end up feeling SAD in the Summertime. Typically the arrival of sunny weather during the spring and summer seasons is welcome relief to many, but increasingly SAD is triggered for an unlucky few in contrast.  There is still a lot of research and study into the causes of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder but it is thought that susceptibility to other types of depression including winter SAD is a likely cause, but also longer days, too much sun and even higher temperatures may play a significant part also. Some of the more common symptoms experienced by sufferers of the ‘summertime blues’ include insomnia, loss of hunger and increased irritability on top of general depression as well which can lead to a potential higher risk of suicide than when experiencing winter SAD. If you feel that you may be feeling the effects of Summertime SAD it is advisable to seek the help and diagnosis of a Medical Professional before it could potentially become something more serious. As study into Summer time Seasonal Affective Disorder is still relatively in the early stages some sufferers have reported alleviation of symptoms through keeping cool and staying in the shade. Other factors to look at that may help with reducing the effects of the symptoms are eating a more healthy diet so that your body gets the energy and nutrients it needs.  Blackout blinds for your bedroom would help to block out the extra hours of sunlight...

Fight Jet-Lag with a SAD Light

Jet-lag is something that we all can suffer from when travelling into different time zones and often writes off the first day or two of a holiday.  One key aspect of light therapy devices and dawn simulators is  their function of helping the body achieve a natural and normal circadian rhythm.  This feature can be used to make the effects or travel easier on your body so you can fight Jet-Lag with a SAD Light. General symptoms of jet-lag include tiredness, congestion, trouble digesting food, aches and pains, thrombosis to name a few; all of which are signs that your body clock is struggling to adjust.  Many of us have experienced the cramped spaces, dry recycled air and lack of sleep on a plane, but with the help of a SAD light you can minimise the effects. As SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder Lights work by creating an artificial light that emulates the same wavelengths that cause the human eye to start producing Serotonin which is critical in regulating circadian rhythms.  Depending on the SAD light used you can receive enough light from them in 15 – 60 minutes if used relatively early in the day. If you are able, prior to your next plane flight try and adjust your body clock.  If you are travelling west you should aim to stay awake for long in the evening and arise later in the morning.  You can use a SAD therapy light towards the evening for around half an hour starting two or three days beforehand and increasing the time your start by around an hour each  time. Alternatively if...