“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” Steve Martin

Basic CMYKThis time of year, it’s easy to catch a case of the SADs. Seasonal Affective Disorder is recognized as a common mental condition, and in its classic form, is thought to be caused by shortened days and fewer hours of sunshine. Indoor gardeners rejoice, though. Those grow lights that you thoughtfully provide for your plants all year round can do you and your wintertime grumpiness a world of good, since light therapy is considered to be #1 on the charts for treating the wintertime blahs.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that the reduced level of sunlight in the winter months might disrupt your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm), which tells you when you should sleep or be awake. This disruption may lead to feelings of depression, they state. Further, they suggest that a lack of sunlight exposure can cause a drop in the brain’s level of serotonin, which may trigger depression.

From the Mayo Clinic website (www.mayoclinic.com): Light therapy is one of the first line treatments for seasonal affective disorder. It generally starts working in two to four days and causes few side effects. Research on light therapy is limited, but it appears to be effective for most people in relieving seasonal affective disorder symptoms.

So if you’re feeling the blues, lighten up!