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...

10 Ways to help beat the Winter Blues

If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, anxiety or find that you feel down during the colder months of the year then our simple 10 Ways to help beat the Winter Blues may contribute to lessening and possibly alleviate certain symptoms. Bask in the sun Spend as much time in sunlight as possible as the lack of natural light is one of the direct causes of SAD as it triggers the production of Serotonin in the brain to help maintain the body’s circadian rhythms.  Try working near a window, go on walks or even if medically advised to do so, try using a SAD light to receive a light therapy treatment.   Even if the sky is overcast, we still receive enough UV rays to start producing Vitamin D, we just need to stay out for longer periods of time. Eat healthy Maintaining a healthy diet is important under any circumstances but can be highly beneficial if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Plenty of food rich in proteins and nutrients, especially ones high in Tryptophan will help in Serotonin production.   Avoid any foods high in fat, sugar and caffeine as these can contribute towards low feelings and affect your sleeping pattern. Get to bed Plenty of restful sleep is essential in recharging and keeping our body clocks going so getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep will help you feel much better overall. Socialise Regularly staying in contact with family and friends is essential to anyone staying happy whether it simply be a conversation over the phone, social gatherings or just...

Why choose a Dawn Simulator?

Dawn Simulators are often found alongside SAD Lights as they work in a way that can help stabilise the body’s natural Circadian Rhythms only with a different method.  There are particular reasons as to why you should choose a Dawn Simulator over a SAD light. Unlike SAD Lights, Dawn Simulators are not medically recognised for treating the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder as they are not designed to give enough light to activate the Melanopsin receptors in the eyes, but they can be integral in better regulation of your sleeping pattern by creating an artificial sunrise and sunset to more gently start or finish the day. A number of Dawn Simulators feature alarm clock systems and even radios in some models so that you can have all of the regular features people use to start their day in a single, easy to use unit.  If you struggle to  wake up in the morning, whether due to having to work shifts through the night for example, or even find it difficult relaxing enough to go to sleep; having a Dawn Simulator enables the option to programme either the sunrise or sunset specifically at times to match a desired or natural sleeping pattern. When programmed, gradually the light from a Dawn Simulator will increase and emulate the warming glow of a natural sunrise, or vice-versa so that receptors in the eyes will begin to respond and in turn will help you will wake up more naturally. So if you don’t suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder but find waking up difficult, need to adjust your sleeping pattern or have little natural sunlight...