14 Dec What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
A common theme I’m hearing from members at Jenerate Wellness…they are feeling like they are in a “funk” from the lack of sunlight. There is no denying it, the sun plays a massive roll in our mood. And I strongly believe most of us Midwesterners are severely deprived and need help sourcing other options in the winter months.
A couple of quick facts: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was officially named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and his contemporaries at the National Institute for Mental Health. Since then, the condition has transformed from an easily-discarded mood issue to a commonly accepted disorder that now resides in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It tends to affect those that reside in areas that have more pronounced seasons. Only about 1.4% of Florida residents report a prevalence of SAD where Wisconsinites are diagnosed at a rate of 10%!
As winter approaches, it’s important to know some SAD treatment options. Individuals who want to improve their mood and overall sense of wellbeing should consider Infrared Saunas as an effective and healthy way of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What Causes SAD?
A quick breakdown on a few expert theories…
- A disruption in our circadian rhythms due to changes in atmospheric lighting. When the winter months arrive, the days tend to get shorter, sunlight is in shorter supply, the environment is colder, and SAD symptoms arise.
- Human’s need to conserve energy during the food-scarce winter months. A lack of food and substantially colder temperatures may cause a sort of hibernation mode, resulting in a low mood and lack of desire to complete tasks.
- The depression that comes from the amount of serotonin in our body. Melatonin production is regulated by our circadian clocks, but it can be affected by exposure to bright light. Seasonal Affective Disorder is, by most accounts, a direct correlation to the amount of light we’re exposed to.
What are Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments?
Most agree that the safest and most effective treatment for SAD is light therapy. While there are drug-based options and cognitive-behavioral therapy steps that can be taken, light therapy is considered the safest and quickest way to shake the symptoms.
So you may be asking yourself, how exactly does light therapy work? Can I simply stand outside and increase my exposure to the sun? Or, do I need to go to a doctor’s office to receive treatment? While standing outside in the sun can increase levels of Vitamin-D production it should only be done in moderation.
A great option for most people is to spend time in an Infrared Sauna equipped with Chomotherapy lighting.
How Can a Sauna Help?
LED light therapy is called Chromotherapy, and refers to the use of lights to create changes in mood. Each color has been shown to help specific changes in the body and mind:
- Red: Shown to boost energy and promote faster healing when used in tandem with infrared sauna therapy.
- Orange: Sparks greater mental activity and can induce an uplifting sense of cheerful emotions.
- Yellow: Shown to create feelings of optimism, good humor, and positivity.
- Green: One of the best light therapy hues for combating Seasonal Affective Disorder, as it can calm one down quickly and directly counteract the side effects of SAD.
- Blue: Minimizes the feelings of anxiety and depression. Blue light has even been shown to improve the look and health of one’s skin.
- Purple: Delivers a calming effect that can even help to overcome feelings of pain. Purple is a tranquil color that stimulates white blood cell production.
- White: By combining red, green, and blue, white light delivers a triple-threat of healing power.
If you find that SAD has become a reality in your life or for someone you love, don’t continue to suffer! Light therapy is just one of the many health benefits of consistent sauna use. Discover for yourself inside the warm, cozy confines of Clearlight Infrared Saunas at Jenerate Wellness.