Beat The Winter Blues: Surprising Effects Of Sunlight On Your Teenagers Mood
Written by Craig Rogers, in Section Therapy News
As we fall back into daylight savings time, one thing is certain. We see far less sunlight. In the spring and summer months we have far more light during the days, activity seems everywhere you look, and most people are upbeat. Things change drastically when the weather starts to get colder and sunlight is depleted. Teens, as well as adults, suffer from more sadness and a lack of energy in the fall and winter months collectively. Depression heightens with those who are prone to it.
Some people call it the “winter blues”, others coin the term as seasonal mood disorder. Either way you look at it we all face dealing with these feelings in some ways more than others. The technical term used by physicians is called SAD. SAD is a form of depression that’s triggered by decreases in sunlight and goes it goes away when the sunlight returns. When we don’t get the sunlight, we need, chemically our bodies go through changes and this is how, it affects the way we feel.
How Does SAD Work?
•It sends our body's biological or internal clock into a tizzy
•Affects melatonin levels, which can decrease quality and quantity of sleep
•Decreasing brain chemicals, namely serotonin that affect our mood.
Ways to help boost mood
Since you aren’t getting the sunlight you need, one of the best things to do during the fall and winter help counteract this chemical change by spending time outdoors. Going on walks, hikes, and spending time out in the sun can be very healthy changes to help battle fatigue during the fall and winter months.
Some studies have shown that artificial light therapy can significantly improve SAD symptoms after just one-to-two weeks. The science behind it points to rebalancing internal clocks and melatonin and serotonin levels.
Teens who suffer from depression need to be aware of the changes that happen to them during the time changes. What a lack of sunlight does to them needs to be addressed to help them handle their condition. Spending time outdoors is critical for those suffering from depression. If you believe, you might be suffering from SAD contact your doctor. Symptoms of SAD can include sadness, irritability, depressed mood, decreased energy levels, difficulty concentrating or sleeping and increased appetite that leads to weight gain. If you believe that you, or a loved one may be suffering from SAD, speak with someone who can help.