We have all heard the term “seasonal depression” in the past few years. The lack of sunlight, longer nights and cold weather can have unwanted effects on our emotions, energy levels, appetite, and general mental wellbeing. But when you experience it daily during the colder months, this can mean you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
It is common for most affected by SAD to experience it through the Autumn-Winter months, which usually ease in Spring as it warms up again.
What are common symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) displays symptoms similar to depression. Such as:
- Feeling down, tearful
- Feeling anxious, stressed and worried
- Lack of energy or will to do things
- Not being able to concentrate
- Craving foods high in carbohydrates and sugars
- Lost interest in hobbies and things that make you happy usually
- Not wanting to see others
- Sleeping more than usual, finding it hard to get up in the morning
These symptoms can appear at once and worsen as winter goes on.
What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are unclear, though researchers have often correlated it to the reduced amount of sunlight.
Sunlight affects the body in different ways. Your body uses sunlight to regulate your sleep, appetite, and general mood. In winter, this can lead to tiredness and depression. This affects the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone as well as serotonin, the “happiness” hormone.
How to prepare for SAD
Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be very difficult, but there are some things we can do to lessen its impact:
- Make the most out of natural light. While you may not be a morning person, getting up early and squeezing in some time for a walk in the sunlight might help in getting some extra needed Vitamin D and assist in serotonin levels regulation.
- Plan meals in advance. Having healthy meals, like comforting soups, can help if you lack the energy to cook during wintertime.
- Prepare mentally. Plan some activities you can do around autumn or winter. Whether it’s a walking group, hanging out with friends and family regularly, a hobby class or yoga, these can be effective mood-boosters.
- Get a sun lamp. Bright light therapy devices give off light that mimics the sun and can be regulating to the brain. Typically, it is to be used for half an hour right after you wake up in the morning. Some are available as alarm clock lights that wake you as it gradually gets brighter.
- Get Supplements. It is a good idea to stock up on multi-vitamins and vitamin D supplements before winter. Multi-vitamins with Iron can be helpful if you’re a woman and tend to not eat many good sources of iron during wintertime.
Does Vitamin D help Seasonal Depression?
Vitamin D is often known as the “sunshine vitamin,” because our body produces it when our skin is exposed to UV light. In the winter, we don’t get enough sun on our skin, which means most of us are vitamin D-deficient at this time of year.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can also make it harder to leave the house and get the appropriate amounts of Vitamin D on your skin. Vitamin D deficiency can make Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms worse, as it can make you more fatigued, depressed and experience bone pain and muscle weakness.
The NHS recommends you consider a daily 10 micrograms supplement during the autumn and winter months.
Vitamin D CBD Oil for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
As Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can include stress and anxiety, there is a growing body of clinical research to suggest that CBD oil can help. Studies show that CBD interacts with a number of our body’s receptors but, in terms of stress, CBD seems to specifically target the cardiovascular response to stress (e.g. lowering blood pressure and heart rate).
Dragonfly CBD has the daily Vitamin D requirements covered, together with your daily dose of CBD Oil. Organically grown Cannabis Sativa L. is super distilled and combined with Vitamin D, to maintain muscle, bone and immune system function. Each recommended daily serving of 5-6 drops contains 12.5-15 milligrams of CBD and 12.5-15 micrograms of Vitamin D, in line with NHS recommendations.