Sail Through the Winter Without Feeling "SAD"

Sail Through the Winter Without Feeling "SAD"

Robin Foroutan and Stephanie Mandel by Robin Foroutan and Stephanie Mandel

Sail Through the Winter Without Feeling "SAD"

January 23, 2019

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, is a type of depression that occurs during the winter. This type of depression, which affects more than 30 million Americans, is likely related to the changes in the amount of daylight to which a person is exposed. It also involves the circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles, among other internal functions. For most people, SAD is mild with symptoms ranging from fatigue to the “winter blues.” For many others, SAD may even interfere with daily activities.

The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize the effects of shorter days and longer nights and support your circadian rhythm in the process. 


- OUR TOP TIPS TO STAVE OFF "SAD" -

sunlight  

NO. 1  OPTIMIZE VITAMIN D LEVELS

Called the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D levels plummet during the winter in people who live north of the Atlanta-Los Angeles latitude. This vitamin is critical to the immune system, bone health, cancer prevention, heart health, and may improve mood. Most people will need to supplement at higher doses than the usual recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 600 IU per day to maintain optimal blood levels of 50-70 ng/mL. We recommend testing your levels ahead of cold and flu season and adjusting your daily vitamin D3 dose accordingly. A typical recommended dose may range between 2,000 IU per day to 5,000 IU per day.

direct sunlight

 

NO. 2 GET DIRECT SUNLIGHT DAILY

Since sunlight exposure is key to avoiding SAD, be sure to get some sun each day. Going for a brisk walk during lunch or in between meetings is an easy way to catch some midday rays. Try not to wear sunglasses all the time to allow your brain and the sunshine to sync and reset your circadian rhythm.

sleep

 

NO. 3 GET ADEQUATE SLEEP...BUT NOT TOO MUCH

SAD can make people feel more sluggish and sleepy, but too much sleep can make you even more tired and can be a sign of depression itself. Aim for 8 hours per night.

 

light therapy

 

NO. 4 CONSIDER LIGHT THERAPY

Light therapy uses a special kind of light that mimics the sun’s light spectrum and can be used at home or work. People report feeling more energetic with improved mood after using these kinds of lights at home, especially if used first thing in the morning when you wake up. For SAD, we recommend using a 10,000-lux light box early in the morning for about 20-30 minutes. Simply sit or work about two feet from the lightbox and let the light do its work (but don’t look directly into the lamp). 5,000-lux light boxes can also be effective when used for longer daily sessions.


 

- STAY HEALTHY AND ENERGETIC DURING LONG EVENINGS- 

NO. 1 VITAMIN D3/K2 

Vitamin D plays a broad range of roles in the body including regulating immune function, helping to balance hormones and supporting cognitive function and mood. This supplement can reduce the effects of SAD.*

vitamin D3/k2 from Dr.Morrison

NO. 2 5-HTP BY METABOLIC MAINTENANCE

5-HTP is a precursor to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin as well as melatonin, an important hormone for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. This supplement can help support a healthy mood, relief from anxiety and/or depression and restorative sleep.*

5-HTP by Metabolic Maintenance for Balanced Mood and Sleep Support

NO. 3 200 MG OF ZEN

This supplement provides a unique and natural path to relaxation without sedation. 200 mg of Zen is formulated with nutrients that help our brains make calming and focusing neurotransmitters and has been shown to support the production of alpha-wave activity in the brain.*

200 Mg of Zen 

NO.4 GINST 15 KOREAN GINSENG

This supplement is one of our best fatigue-fighters. Ginseng helps boost mood, improve energy and mental clarity.* Just add 13 drops to water, tea or your morning smoothie; you can also take it directly under the tongue.

Ginst 15 Elixir for Energy and Focus

NO.5 THEANINE BY THORNE

L-theanine, a unique amino acid found in green tea, stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, resulting in improved mental function and focus. Theanine also modifies key neurotransmitters involved in mood, attention, and memory.*

Theanine by Thorne for a Calm Mind and Sleep Support

As with any supplements, if you take medication, including antidepressants, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before starting anything new. 

There's no need to suffer in silence - supplements can help, but so can speaking with a professional. If you're experiencing depression and are looking for support, call your doctor so they can connect you with the right resource.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or cure any disease.


WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK

This guide was written by Dr. Morrison and the health and nutrition experts at The Morrison Center. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health through the treatment and prevention of disease.

THE TEAM

JEFFREY A. MORRISON, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is an award-winning medical doctor, a leader in the field of Integrative Medicine, and champion of a nutritional approach to healthcare

 

ROBIN FOROUTAN, MS, RDN, HHC

Robin is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine and holistic healing modalities. She helps her clients address complicated conditions and return to wellness.

 

STEPHANIE MANDEL, NC, HEALTH COACH

Stephanie is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner with a passion for helping her clients fulfill their potential through both emotional and physical optimization.

 

 



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