Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

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Sometimes in winter due to less sunlight, people can feel quite down.

Historically we only ever worked outdoors; two hundred years ago 75% of the population worked outdoors now less than 10% of the population work in the natural outdoor light. 

Whilst this is fine in the Summer months when there are longer daylight hours, in the Winter months, people tend to go to work in the dark and go home in the dark and don't get to enough natural daylight.

This modern way of living has dramatically altered nature's cues. A modern day no longer starts at the break of dawn and ends at sunset. Workdays are getting longer and many people face shift work schedules. 

Additionally, the advent of electric lighting allows social gatherings and personal activities to extend well into the night. 

These factors have diminished the body's natural ability to regulate the body clock and this work/life change has resulted in a dramatic increase in light deficiency symptoms.

In the UK and Ireland, we are more susceptible to SAD as we are situated in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere.

As a result, we experience large changes in light levels between the summer and winter. We also experience periods of dark, gloomy weather which can reduce the amount of light we receive and therefore have a profound effect on our body clocks.

A combination of a change in seasonal light, our hectic lifestyles and the periods of darker days and poorer weather, can result in dramatic effects on our circadian rhythms.

As a direct consequence of these environmental and lifestyle factors, more people than ever before are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder | SAD Lights & Lamps | Light Therapy

UK National SAD Organisation (SAD.org.uk) is a small UK voluntary organisation dedicated to helping people combat the symptoms of SAD.

Speak to your GP to see if you suffer from SAD.

 

Helpful tips to consider along with your GP's advice.

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