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Winter Blues - One Remedy is Lots of Sunlight on the Skin

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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:39 PM
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Winter Blues - One Remedy is Lots of Sunlight on the Skin

http://vitanetonline.com/forums/1/Thread/289

Have the gray skies of winter got you singing the blues? Do you feel tired, lost your creative spark, need extra sleep, can't get control of your appetite? If you nod in agreement to these queries, you may be one of the millions of people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as the "winter blues" or "cabin fever." Time to lighten up, throw off those lowdown winter blues and step up to more enjoyable feelings. Experts who study the winter blahs now acknowledge that you can blame much of winter's crankiness, moodiness and restlessness on short, cloudy days and a lack of sunlight. Low levels of sunlight trigger changes in hormones, increasing levels of melatonin (a hormone that normally helps you go to sleep) and decreasing serotonin (a hormone that improves mood). For many people, this hormonal tumult translates into a craving for sugary foods, a need for more sleep and a reduced sex drive.

Walking in natural light can banish these problems, and research finds that natural light frequently offers the best results (Journal of Affective Disorders 1996 Apr 12; 37(2-3):109-20). In this study, people either participated in a daily walk outdoors in natural light or were treated for half an hour in artificial light. At the end of the study, participants were tested for melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Both were found to be lower after exposure to natural light than artificial light.

Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter: Curiously enough, studies show that light produces physiological effects by being absorbed through both the eyes and the skin.

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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:45 PM
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1. That was a very interesting and informative article.
It's particularly appropriate now, as it is getting dark so early in the evening.

"If you suffer from seasonal depression, you may also not be getting enough vitamin D. During the sun-reduced winter months, stores of this fat-soluble vitamin drop, since the skin makes it when exposed to sunlight. When you step out into daylight, the sebaceous glands near the surface of your body produce an oily substance from cholesterol that rises to the skin's surface. Then, ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert this oily substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) into what is called previtamin D3. Finally, body heat converts previtamin D3 into vitamin D3 (a form of vitamin D)."
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes I enjoyed it too
I found myself getting up late for no reason, and going to bed earlier too. I knew that exercise is good, but I didn't know sunlight was so important. I am going to open up those blinds every day and soak in that sun for 1/2 hour from now on.
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:56 PM
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3. This is very true ... however...
...it's only marginally effective for those of us whose winter blues come from the temperature rather than the light level. Damn, but I have to move south.

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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:14 PM
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4. "Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter"
Is this person crazy. I wear wind pants over my jeans, a full length winter coat, mittens, a scarf, and hat during the winter. Maybe that's why I don't get enough sun exposure during the winter.
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I know, I thought that would be hard too
to freeze while you take a walk. I thought of sunbathing inside by laying in front of a big window instead.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yeah, I'm too busy trying to cover as much skin as possible and not
freeze my ass off.
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