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Just having enough sunlight can help ward off depression

sunlight can help with depression

Just having enough sunlight can help ward off depression


Previous studies have suggested that some people tend to have winter depression during the dark months. And a more recent analysis backs that up.

In an extensive research on climate change, something interesting was discovered. During the winter months in Finland, where the sun barely rises above the horizon, more people tend to develop depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. In late autumn, people take sick leave about two times more often than in spring and summer, when there are longer hours of sunshine.

There's more.

Manic episodes are more frequent in seasons where there are more daylight hours than in the darker seasons.

No, it's the cold. That's not what's happening. Because if it were, the solution wouldn't have been bright light therapy. But that's the case. People suffering from winter depression are often cured through bright light therapy.

Come to think of it. How do you feel when, while in a dark room, the light suddenly comes on?

And how do you feel when the beautiful sun rays filter into your room in the morning?

More often than not, you'll feel energy bustling through you.

Natural sunlight can be a profound source of energy and can improve our moods and even productivity.


Exposure to sunlight is believed to increase the production of serotonin, nicknamed the "happy hormone. Conversely, darkness stimulates melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep.

It's our natural design, and it’s for our own good.

Sadly, some times of the year are unfavorable, especially when you live closer to the North Pole.

But what's the good thing about all of this?

If you're feeling moody and lethargic, just basking in the sun's radiance can help uplift your mood by triggering serotonin production.

Without enough sunlight, you might start feeling unenergetic, disinterested in everything, even depressed. Perhaps, you often feel that way when the days get shorter and nights get longer. You feel all the symptoms of depression, tired, sleepy, and like nothing makes sense.

At such points, maybe all you need is more sunlight; to get out in nature, to have a walk under the open heavens.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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