As Well as being Dyslexic I suffer with a condition called SAD (seasonal Affected Disorder). When I mention this to people they say “is that really a thing”, yes it is and its kinda debilitating at times. The issue is the loss of day light which causes various symptoms
- A persistent low mood
- A loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
- Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
- Sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
For years I did not realise why I felt the way I did and it seemed to affect my job in the winter months. I find that once the day light returns in spring its like ive had a massive boost of energy I want to do things be active , uber happy and enthusiastic about everything.
The winter for me is a real drag and it starts around Sep as the day’s light is beginning to become less and less. I feel totally fed up for no reason, cannot get going on things I know I should be doing.
Light therapy is a good way to counter the effects, normally in the form of a light box. A very bright light which signals the brain its sunlight. Various ways of using a light box there are ones that are like and alarm clock and slowly get brighter simulating sunrise. Ive got one of these but found I was waking up before it went off (so pretty much a waste for me). Alternatively sit in front of one for 15 min’s a day in the morning.
What I now use which I find absolutely perfect are ear lights, it looks like an MP3 player but instead of music they omit light into the ear. This light stimulated the brain via the inner ear, sounds crazy but trust me I’ve found after 5 days I notice the difference. I start using them from end of Aug until late Feb.
What I like about this system is I get up in the morning , grab a coffee put the earlight in and catch up with social media or emails, its only on for 12mins then I am ready to start the day.
I wanted to share this as I imagine there will be loads of people that are unaware that they may suffer with SAD and just put it down to other things (insert problem). Just take a step back or ask a family member do they notice a difference in mood during the winter months.
Also if you are an employer you may find a trend with some of your staff that work exceptionally well in the summer and seem to lack that same sparkle in winter. This could be affecting your business, productivity , profitability and also having an impact on moral (especially if its a leader). I would seek some professional HR advice my go to person would be Tanya Brink (link to profile) for best way to approach the situation.
Am just about to embark on this winters light therapy I feel it coming on already
Good luck fellow SAD sufferers "Get The Lights On"