It’s that time of the year again when 5:00 pm feels like 9:00 pm. On the northern hemisphere, we will begin to see fewer hours of daylight and in some countries further north, there will be no daylight at all for the next four months. The daily commute to work begins in darkness and the commute back home from the office is also dark. Does this have an effect any on your mood? Do you feel more sluggish and less motivated to start the day?
About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
There is a psychological disorder known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which occurs during autumn and throughout the winter season.
The term was first coined in 1984 by psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal and ever since it changed the way people think about the winter.
The seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern, it usually begins in the autumn and lasts during winter until Spring. A lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain that controls sleep, appetite, activity, sex drive, and mood. In the winter months, patients will experience lethargy and a craving for sugary snacks.
Rosenthal included the term in a paper he co-wrote following a move from the warm climate of Johannesburg in South Africa to the north-eastern US, with its more severe winters.
What Research Says
According to a large European study on depression, SAD was found to be common throughout the European population and it appeared to be largely under-diagnosed and/or misdiagnosed. They also discovered that SAD is more common in women than in men. The onset of this depression is between the age of 18 and 30 years old. Some patients who are suffering from SAD may have stronger symptoms that may affect the quality of their life.
Those who are diagnosed with SAD have the symptoms for major seasonal depression for a period of at least two years. Aside from seasonal suicidal thoughts, symptoms may also include insomnia and poor appetite. SAD may cause patients to over-sleep. This is because many sufferers produce a high level of the sleep hormone melatonin during winter as a result of the low light exposure. Other symptoms include loss of interest in many activities and isolation. The exact cause of SAD is not known. It is usually associated with a lack of sunlight and vitamin D deficiency.
Can CBD help?
There are many studies that support the fact that CBD could address the symptoms of SAD. Insomnia and anxiety are the two major symptoms of SAD that can be treated using CBD. A 2010 study indicated the positive effect of CBD on social anxiety. Findings in 2014 indicated that CBD also has antidepressant properties.
Taking CBD daily throughout the winter months generally relieves the symptoms better. Nordic Oil has several products with CBD extracts that you can use on a daily basis. Oils, capsules, teas, and vapes are also available for easier ingestion or faster absorption of CBD.