Suffering from SAD? Dropping temperatures, and darker nights can often mean we experience low moods, and a lack of energy, but could we actually be suffering from a seasonal form of depression?
Seasonal Affective disorder is more common in Plymouth than you might think. New research from AO.com has found that 29% of people in Plymouth have suffered from SAD, and a third (33%) in the area have taken time off work due to associated symptoms.
How can you tackle SAD?
Anyone who is suffering from SAD should seek medical advice and look up what support is available to them in the area. There are also some things you can try to ease symptoms, and and look after yourself in the winter.
Sleep expert for Silent Night Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan said: "Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is characterised by persistent low mood, irritability, and feeling sleepy during the day. At its worst, the disorder is treated with antidepressants and UV light therapy but in milder cases, small lifestyle changes like getting a good night's sleep, eating right and spending more time outside can be incredibly effective."
What can people do to make their SAD less severe according to Dr. Ramlakhan?
- Have a goal - It is really important to ensure you have a sense of purpose all year round, and are prioritising and working towards this in everything you do.
- Exercise - Exercise reduces stress hormone levels and will give you a clearer and more positive outlook on life; it also enables you to sleep more deeply.
- Eat right - The winter leaves many of us craving starchy carbohydrates and while these are a vital part of any diet, it's important to strike a balance.
- Have a nap - Feeling lethargic during the day is a common symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Learning how to power nap is a great way of combating this.
- Be tech smart - Information overload and constant connection can negatively impact your mood. While it might be tempting to cuddle up with your iPad this winter, make sure you allow your brain to switch off in the evenings. Avoid social media accounts and emails for 90 minutes before bedtime.
In support of the research carried out by AO.com, the online retailer has created a cosy campaign to help us seek comfort in our homes, and feel extra cosy when the weather is more unpredictable.