How to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Anyone feeling extra sluggish this time of year?
We've reached that time of year when the sun goes down before we even clock out of our 9 to 5. Aside from the days getting shorter, it feels almost impossible to get our of bed in the morning. How can gaining an hour of sleep with the end of Daylight Saving Time make us more tired in the days following?
I actually enjoy waking up to a not-so-dark morning myself, but for others the fact that it gets darker sooner is too much. For those feeling sluggish at this point in the year, you're not the only one. According to Health.com, five percent of Americans experience a slump in the winter months.
It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.
Many who experience SAD enter into "winter blues." The time change leaves them feeling tired, depressed, excessively hungry, irritable, etc. Norman Rosenthal, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine says the worst thing you can do if you're experiencing these symptoms is to give into them.
If you wake up and you want to pull the covers over your eyes, that's the worst thing to do.
There are some things you can do to combat SAD. Unfortunately, sleeping more is not one of the options. Instead you will have to put in a little work.
Here's what you can try:
1. Light therapy with light boxes
2. Get outdoors more when it's sunny
4. Cut out junk food
5. Find ways to manage your stress
6. Take a warm vacation
7. Try cognitive behavioral therapy