Is everyone a little more tired and moody than usual?
Well it could be a lot of different things. Financial, health or family woes. Or it could be just a little S.A.D., Seasonal Affective Disorder. Experts are not sure what causes S.A.D, but they think it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. Caused by shortness of winter daytime hours. Lack of light may upset your sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms. Which can cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood. Now our circadian rhythm's are 24-hour cycles that are driven by the body's "biological clock." The "biological clock" is regulated by light or darkness, that makes the body think it is time to sleep or wake up.
The 24-hour circadian rhythm also controls functions like, body temperature, hormone release, and the balance of body fluid. The body's master clock, controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. When there is less light, like at night, or during the change of season from summer to winter the brain makes more melatonin so you get drowsy. So you start yawning at 6:00 thinking it's much later. Jet lag is when travelers suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms. When you pass through different time zones, your body's clock will be different from your wristwatch, making you feel groggy and disoriented. Your body's clock will eventually reset itself, but this often takes a few days. Allison T. Siebern, PhD, a fellow in the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center. "When you cross time zones, it disrupts those, and your internal clock and the external time are desynchronized. Your body needs to get on the rhythm of the new time zone."
Some of the SAD symptoms are:
- Feeling sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious.
- Lose interest in your usual activities.
- Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta.
- Weight Gain
- Sleep more and still feel drowsy during the daytime.
- Lack of energy
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
- Social withdrawal
Try starting your day with exercise during this time of year instead of ending your day with exercise. Being active during the daytime, especially first thing in the morning, may help you have more energy and feel less depressed. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or have a swim in the morning before breakfast is a good way to get started. Don't forget though S.A.D. is a mild form of depression for most of us but it could be more of an issue for some. If it is for you, it may be better to seek the advise of a doctor who may prescribe anti-depressant medications in some cases. Remember if you want things to be different in your life you have to change the way you do things. Learn to manage your stress better by taking up some hobbies. Nutrition isn't a big secret any more try to eat a more well balanced diet. If you smoke QUIT! If you have a substance abuse problem seek help. Manage your time better and find time to relax with something you enjoy, other than sleep. Improve your social skills attend events and meet new people. Find activities that will allow you to be outdoors no matter the weather. Stop complaining! You not only bring yourself down but you negatively affect those around you. Find things you can accomplish so you improve your self esteem, and for goodness sake if you're an adult, have more healthy SEX it can alleviate depression, it's good for your hormone balance, your joints, great for your attitude, and better than any anti-depression medication on the market today. Good Luck...
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