Feeling down? Here's how to fight off the 'winter blues'
In the winter months, it's not enough to see the light — some people need the light.
While we're now on the upswing gaining daylight, we still have a long way to go before Alaska is consistently bright.
Until that time, some people will suffer, and it's about more than simply suffering from the "winter blues."
Seasonal affective disorder — a type of depression related to seasonal changes — is real and it disturbs most people in the winter.
"A lot of times you wake up in the morning and it's dark," said Dr. Megan Feng of University of Washington Medicine. "You come home in the afternoon and it's still dark and then in between it's just kind of gloomy and gray. A lot of times, a lot of people come in with concerns about feeling a little bit down, worried about depression or anxiety."
There are ways to combat it. You can get those biorhythms back in sync with a simple aid: light.
"So light therapy is something that people use to try to help re-regulate your body's sleep-wake cycle," Feng said. "And getting that stimulus of bright light in the morning can kind of help reset a little bit of that which helps to improve your mood."
Light therapy lamps run about $30. Feng says to turn it on when you first wake as you go about your daily business.
Of course, the basics are always important too. Good diet, hydration and proper rest may help your cause. But if you're still feeling down, a visit to your doctor could be in order.
And remember — summer will be here soon.
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