It’s that time of year again when 5:00 pm feels like 9:00 pm. In the northern hemisphere, we will begin to see fewer hours of daylight and in some countries further north, there will be no daylight at all for the next four months. The daily commute to work in the morning starts in the dark, and the commute home from the office is also dark. Does this have any effect on your mood? Do you feel slower and less motivated to start the day?
About Seasonal Affective Disorder
There is a psychological disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder that occurs during the fall and throughout the winter season.
The term was first coined in 1984 by psychiatrist Normal Rosenthal and has since changed the way people think about winter.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern, usually beginning in the fall and lasting through the winter until spring. The lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain that controls sleep, appetite, activity, sex drive, and mood. In the winter months, patients will experience lethargy and a craving for sugary snacks.
Rosenthal included the term in an article he co-wrote after a change in the warm climate from Johannesburg in South Africa to the northeastern United States, with its more severe winters.
What the research says
According to a large European study on depression, SAD was found to be common throughout the European population and appeared to be largely under-diagnosed and/or misdiagnosed. They also found that SAD is more common in women than in men. The onset of SAD occurs between the ages of 18 and 30. Some patients with SAD may have symptoms severe enough to affect their quality of life.
People diagnosed with SAD have the symptoms of major seasonal depression for a period of at least two years. In addition to seasonal thoughts of suicide, symptoms may also include insomnia and lack of appetite. SAD can cause patients to oversleep. This is because many patients produce a high level of the sleep hormone – called melatonin – during the winter due to low exposure to light. Other symptoms include loss of interest in many activities and isolation. The exact cause of SAD is unknown. It is usually associated with lack of sunlight and vitamin D deficiency.
Can CBD help?
There are many studies that support the fact that CBD may significantly treat the symptoms of SAD. Insomnia and anxiety are the two main symptoms of SAD that can be treated with CBD. A 2010 study indicated the effect of CBD on social anxiety. The 2014 findings indicated that CBD also has antidepressant properties.
Taking CBD daily during the winter months usually provides better symptom relief. Nordic Oil has several products with CBD extracts that can be used daily. The oils, capsules, teas, and vapors are also available for easier intake or faster absorption of CBD.
You can also use CBD for cooking and make your own ingredients with CBD infusions to use in your favorite recipes.
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