Winter depression, or “seasonal affective disorder syndrome”, manifests itself during a short daylight period. And it differs from chronic depression in that the symptoms disappear with the appearance of sunny days. Vitamin D is our everything.
Our dependence on sunlight manifests itself in a number of physiological mechanisms, at least two of which are relevant when discussing seasonal depression:
the production of serotonin— the hormone of happiness, increases in bright light. This explains the state of joy that we experience when the sun’s rays appear.
synthesis of another hormone — melatonin, which regulates our biological clock with cortisol. It calms and lulls us to sleep, and occurs in inverse dependence on the amount of sunlight.
The level of melatonin increases in the dark so that we can sleep peacefully, and decreases in daylight. Chronic lack of sunlight leads to increased melatonin levels and, accordingly, constant drowsiness.
The seasonal, affective disorder may manifest itself in the following symptoms: depression;
a chronic feeling of fatigue;
and the need for a lot of;
sleep (10-12 hours);
сhanges in appetite — an irresistible craving for sweets and flour;
What to do?
Maintain optimal vitamin D levels
One of the main causes of seasonal depression is vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D receptors are found in almost all cells of our body, including various brain tissues. Vitamin D promotes the growth of nerve cells, and its adequate level is critical for mental health and normal cognitive function.
The beneficial effects of vitamin D on our health (including reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and type II diabetes) are associated with its specific form – vitamin D sulfate, which we synthesize in response to exposure to ultraviolet rays.
It is preferable to give the body the opportunity to synthesize vitamin D itself, which allows you to get the maximum amount of benefit and avoid overdose.
Catch sunny moments
Go out into the sun and expose the available skin areas to the sun’s rays.
Buy a lamp, the light from which is as close as possible to the composition of the light of the sun’s rays. Light therapy improves the condition of seasonal affective disorder in 80% of cases. Light therapy is also used to treat chronic depression, dementia, and attention deficit disorder.
It is best to use such a lamp in the morning — start the day with breakfast under its warm rays.
Vitamins of group D can be obtained by sunbathing in a solarium.
Eat foods containing vitamin D regularly
Vitamin D is naturally and in significant amounts found only in animal products. The richest sources are—products such as liver — animals, poultry and fish – and egg yolks.
All vitamins and minerals are absorbed better due to the presence of a number of auxiliary elements — cofactors (in the case of vitamin D — vitamin K and A, fatty acids). Therefore, if possible, try to get all the vitamins and nutrients through nutrition.
If you decide to take vitamin D, consult a doctor and take tests.
Things to remember when taking Vitamin D
Use vitamin D3 — this form (unlike D2) is effective for increasing the level of vitamin D in the blood.
For the absorption of vitamin D, vitamins K and A, zinc, boron, and magnesium are also needed — therefore, it is best if you take a multivitamin (preferably based on whole foods).
Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is best absorbed when taken together with fats.
What will help improve your mood?
Regular physical activity
Sports and physical activity are also effective for overcoming depression.
Insomnia and depression, as a rule, cause the other in any sequence. You can accept insomnia as an integral part of depression. This shows that insomnia and regular sleep problems are accurate predictors of the development of depression sometime later.
To establish a full sleep, give up stimulating drinks for a while (coffee, tea with caffeine, alcohol), and replace them with soothing tea (mint, chamomile, linden).
Turn off all screens 40-50 minutes before bedtime, remove devices that emit light (especially blue) from the bedroom, and go to bed at a time to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day.
Violation of the microflora affects the functioning of absolutely all body systems — starting with digestion and ending with the health of the brain and nervous system.
To maintain intestinal health, eat a variety of whole plant foods containing fiber daily. Fiber (soluble) is not digested by us, but instead is food for friendly bacteria that support our health in response to care. Especially rich sources of insoluble fiber and resistant starch — prebiotics that bacteria feed on are onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, boiled and then cooled potatoes, and green bananas.
For planting microflora, one of the most effective means is the use of fermented foods — kvass, yogurt, sauerkraut, and cucumbers. It is best to cook them yourself or make sure that they are not pasteurized and do not contain unnecessary ingredients.
Give up sugar, white flour, and other refined and processed foods that briefly boost your mood. In the long term, they lead to emotional decline, they empty your stores of nutrients that are necessary for their assimilation.
Eat some quality protein at every meal. The neurotransmitters of happiness and good mood — dopamine and serotonin – are made from amino acids, tyrosine, and tryptophan, which we, in turn, get from food.
Among the sources of l-tyrosine: are poultry, eggs, cheese, seeds, algae, mustard greens, and soy products (it is better to eat them in fermented form). Sources of tryptophan: poultry and meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dairy products.
Regularly consume foods containing Omega 3. Our brain consists of 60% Omega 3 fatty acids, which we simply need for mental and cognitive health. Is just one of the mechanisms of communication of our mood with the level of Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids increase the permeability of cell membranes and their conductivity, which is critical for the rate of transmission of nerve impulses, which are then translated into our feelings and thoughts. The low rate of transmission of nerve impulses reduces the level of production of dopamine known to us.
The main food sources of Omega 3: are fish from the cold seas, its liver, and caviar, algae, and flaxseed.
Positive thinking is an amazing effect of gratitude! Thank me and you will be happy!
That is, to a certain extent, our happiness lies in our conscious positive thinking!