If getting out of bed in the mornings is even harder this month, you may not be imagining it. In fact you may be one of the millions of people in America suffering from a health complaint typically referred to as the winter blues.
The condition is a form of mild lethargy and depression caused by a lack of sunshine combined with the psychological effect of the end of summer. It’s now thought to affect eight out of ten of us in one form or another. One-in-five of us suffer a more serious condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which, in its most severe cases, causes sufferers such strong symptoms of fatigue and depression that it can seriously disrupt their lives.
On Thursday, February 19 at 1 PM, Dr. Nicole James will provide a series of tips on “Beating the Winter Blues” at Greens N Grains in Egg Harbor. She plans to cover:
- How to effectively use light therapy and why it works,
- Benefits of vitamin D on your mood,
- Dietary strategies to support mood and
- How to balance your neurotransmitters.
SAD was only recognized in the 1980s and, like the winter blues, it is thought to be related to the amount of natural light available in the winter months. Medics believe that daylight triggers a reaction in our bodies each morning that stops us from producing melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel drowsy so we can sleep. In the winter months the lack of daylight can mean some peoples’ bodies do not stop producing melatonin – leaving them feeling exhausted.
Exposure to sunlight also boosts levels of serotonin, the chemical which makes us feel happy. During the winter months the body produces less serotonin, which can also lead to depression. If the change in seasons has left you feeling down in the dumps, Dr. Nicole’s top winter health tips could help you start to feel brighter.
Greens N Grains Natural Food Store is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, located in downtown Egg Harbor at 7821 Hwy 42. The Café is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the quiet season, from 10 am – 4 pm. The GNG Website features news and monthly discount specials online at Greens-N-Grains.com.