Thursday, December 16, 2010

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Well, Melissa had it right with her post today - we are definitely all affected to one degree or another by the weather and the change in daylight exposure. I think our bodies are programmed to kind of shut down during cold weather and lower levels of daylight exposure. Winter is designed to save our fat! Dang it! No wonder we love carbs so much in the winter.

Thinking about weight loss efforts in years past, I was asking myself, "Why do I have such a hard time losing weight in the winter, in fact I tend to gain weight, but it's much easier in the spring and summer?" Plus, in relation to my battles with anxiety and depression, I knew I had harder times starting in late fall and going until spring. And click! I put the two together, weight loss struggles and depression, and I think it's related to the season. I may want to start using some form of light therapy and see if it makes a difference. Melissa, could you tell us more about the light lamp you have, and where you got it from?

Here's an article about SAD I found on Wikipedia: Seasonal Affective Disorder, if you want to read more about it.


  1. I understand this can be a very hard time of year, especially for people who struggle with depression. It's good to realize that it also affects our weight loss efforts.
    I guess it's a good thing we don't live in Alaska!

  2. I've got a Verilux Happy Light. Compliments of Kernal Ken and The Queen Vee.

    The Cleveland area only has about 66 days of full sunlight and I'm guessing only about 3-5 of those fall in the winter. I don't think I've got S.A.D., but definitely a case of the Winter Blues.

    Here are two paragraphs from the Verilux web site.

    Full spectrum or natural white light is effective in assisting with mood and sleep disorders associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder or the Winter Blues. Light therapy promotes the body's natural energy enhancers to lift spirits, sharpen concentration and improve energy levels.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the "Winter Blues", or seasonal depression, are medical conditions caused by the seasonal change in the amount of available sunlight. People who suffer from these mood disorders experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the darker winter months. Loss of natural light can be the result of long winters, rainy weather, night shift work, airplane travel and subsequent jet lag, or just a lifestyle that dictates too much time indoors. Symptoms of Winter Blues, or winter depression, are sluggishness, sleep problems, memory loss, the inability to concentrate and loss of mental acuity, depression, confusion and sexual dysfunction. Symptoms of the "Winter Blues" (a milder form of SAD) includes a lack of energy, depression, listlessness and cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.

  3. Thanks! I really appreciate you checking that out for me! Merry Christmas!

  4. I use the tanning beds in the winter and supplement with MoodBoost Drink. That keeps SAD away from me.

  5. Tanning beds are so good for you but I suppose better than nothing if you don't have other options.

    Becky we got the light last year at Costco. You probably can find one online. This winter none of us want to gain wait. It will be back to serious excercise and calorie counting for me on January 2nd.

  6. I think I meant to write Tanning beds are not so good for you AND I think this post has been spammed by winter mood! Might have to consider word verification Audrey.