Many of us have experienced the winter blues. The struggles of getting up in the dark mornings, or trying to stay productive as the sun sets at 5 p.m. Cold weather drives us indoors and away from our favorite outdoor activities, and sunlight. We often don’t realize the large impact natural lighting has on our overall mood and happiness, and if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), its affects are that much more impactful.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
No matter your natural disposition or cheerful personality, science shows that all animals, including humans, are affected by the onset of winter and the related loss of light. For some, this means sleeping more, or craving chocolate, yet up to 20 percent of Americans suffer from severe depression during the cold and dark winter months, which doctors now call SAD.
Symptoms of SAD include oversleeping, overeating, depression, lethargy, stomach or joint pain, and a lowered immune system. Women are more susceptible to developing SAD, with 70 to 80 percent of the diagnosed SAD patients being women. The incidences of SAD also increase the further away one lives from the Equator.
LEDs and SAD: How can light help?
The total causes of SAD are not completely understood, but doctor’s agree light plays a vital role. Researchers have noted lack of light alters one’s brain chemistry, causing an over-production of melatonin, causing fatigue.
Lack of lighting makes sense as a cause for the SAD, as over 70 percent of our sensory receptors are in our eyes. Doctors and researchers then hypothesized that by increasing the amount of natural light or lighting that mimics natural light, they could decrease one’s symptoms of SAD.
Increasing natural lighting in one’s home and office space is important to helping control SAD symptoms. Yet this can be difficult to achieve in the winter months, as natural daylight becomes much more scarce. By installing LED lighting in your home or office, you not only can help stave off SAD symptoms if you are susceptible, you can also save money and energy as well.
Keep with Winter Blues Away with LEDs
Get started on your LED journey today by giving us a call at (319) 653-2123 or send us an email. Let us help you stay happy and positive this winter with our LED lights that mimic outdoor sunlight!
Posted in Human Centric Lighting