Light Therapy Tips
It is amazing how well simple things can benefit our health… if we know how to use them. Marlynn Wei, MD, JD does a splendid job explaining why and how to use light therapy in her article on light therapy tips.
It’s not just the cold weather that is making you sluggish and want to hunker down at home on the couch with your best friend Netflix. Shorter days from early fall through winter can cause even your serotonin to hibernate in your neurons.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs in the fall to winter. People with winter blues feel tired, less motivated, sad, and sleep more than usual.
You’re more at risk for the winter blues if you’re a woman, younger, live further from the equator, or have family members who have depression or a mood disorder. People with seasonal depression have been found to 5 percent higher levels of a transporter protein that whisks serotonin away from the space in between neurons and moves serotonin back into the presynaptic neuron, which can lead to depression.
Sunlight in the summer stops this process from happening, but when winter approaches, less sunlight can mean that more serotonin ends up hibernating in your neurons, causing seasonal depression. People with SAD may also have issues with overproducing melatonin during winter, a hormone released in response to darkness that causes sleepiness.
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