Seasonal affective disorder doesn’t mean you have to be SAD

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The lack of sunlight from shorter winter days can bring on depressive symptoms, and social isolation is common among people with seasonal affective disorder. Photo: Pexels


(Jocelyn Solis-Moreira/ CNN News) —  Some people might have looked forward to the extra hour of sleep after Daylight Saving Time ended recently, but for millions of people, the shorter days and longer nights are another reminder about the coming of winter (blues).

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs in late fall and winter that has to do with the lack of sunlight.

Having shorter days and longer nights during fall and winter can disrupt a 24-hour clock inside our bodies called the circadian rhythm. This clock regulates multiple bodily processes and is influenced by the day-night cycle, said circadian rhythm expert Joseph Takahashi, professor and chair of the neuroscience department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, via email. Disrupted circadian responses may affect brain regions involved in mood, along with causing fatigue and low energy from lack of sleep.

Taking care of your health is key to dealing with seasonal affective disorder. Here’s what experts say you can do to manage seasonal affective disorder. Remember to talk to your medical provider before starting any new treatments. (…)

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