Light boxes and other treatments against SAD

Light boxes and other treatments against SAD

In the words of Jon Snow: "Winter is coming."

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According to recent statistics, one in fifteen people in the UK is said to be suffering from seasonal affective disorders.

The NHS describes SAD as a form of depression that occurs and proceeds in a seasonal pattern.

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Often triggered by the long nights and short days, and the symptoms of those affected are bad mood, lethargy, restless sleep and libido loss.

"SAD is common and can affect people from all walks of life," explains Drs. Preethi Daniel, Clinical Director of the Private General Practice, London Doctors Clinic.

"The darker the days are and the more you wake up, even before the sun rises, you may feel a persistent bad mood or a lack of energy. You may find it difficult to concentrate, and you may be less likely to enjoy your usual activities. "

Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat the effects of SAD and add winter blues to the …

Eat yourself happier

Start with the beating of the coal state.

"The craving for carbohydrates is a big problem in winter," explains Dr. Daniel. "Healthy food targeted at all food groups and those slowly releasing energy results in fewer food cravings and lethargy."

Dr. Daniel also suggests limiting sugar intake and reducing caffeine. "Eat foods that are rich in folic acid, like leafy vegetables. There are indications that we are making serotonin, which is a happy hormone, "she continues.

"There is also evidence that berries prevent the release of cortisol, which is responsible for stress."

There is no doubt that the winter weather is longing for comfort foods, but according to Dr. Daniel, we should try to limit the chocolate treats.

"Treat yourself if you need dark chocolate. Antioxidants and polyphenols in them can increase your mood significantly, "she explains.

Stay active

A trip to the cold may be the last thing you like, but regular exercise helps liberate these happy hormones.

"It also defeats inertia and warms those muscles," explains Dr. Daniel. "If you notice that you are a little demotivated at work, make a distraction or go for a walk at lunchtime."

Increase your vitamin D.

"Vitamin D is very important for maintaining a good mood," explains Dr. Daniel. Although we naturally extract it from sunlight and store it in our skin, on cloudy days we absorb less of it and consume our business much faster.

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Get some light

Even on a cloudy day, we need natural light to reset our circadian clock.

"Not only that, light therapy is an effective treatment for SAD," explains Dr. Daniel. "You can use a light box that is ten times stronger than the office lighting. If you sit in front of it for 30 minutes, you can increase your mood.

"There are also lighting devices on the market that mimic a bright sunrise in the morning and generate daylight in your room in the morning. By imitating natural sunlight, your body is tempted to feel good and energetic for a busy day in the office. "

4 of the best SAD lights

Light boxes provide bright light in summer to treat SAD, lift mood, increase concentration and restore natural energy.

Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300: £ 125, Amazon.de

Lumie lamps have been scientifically tested and are recommended by SADA, the UK charity for SAD.

Homni Smart Lamp sleep and wake up aid with point sensor: £ 199, John Lewis

Connect to your phone or tablet. The light analyzes the temperature, humidity, noise level and brightness of your bedroom and monitors the sleep quality with the help of the Wellness Coach app.

Sad Light Co. Diamond 5 – SAD Lightbox: £ 259, Amazon.co.uk

Small but powerful, users claim to feel the benefits in as little as 20 minutes.

Litepod SAD Light: £ 99.45, sad.co.uk

At only 38 cm x 12.5 cm x 12.5 cm, this is ideal for sticking to your desk.

Searching for help

If you are really trying, but still find these winter days difficult, you should talk to your family doctor or even your friends and family.

"Counseling, psychotherapy and medications can also be used to treat SAD," says Dr. Daniel. "When you're at work, some GPs offer video consultations, so there's no excuse to fight silently – get the help you need."

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