We recently turned the clocks back an hour and even though sleep experts say that the time change is good news – because we typically get more rest – it can also trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder. And it can hit anyone, no matter how healthy you are. The disorder makes you feel tired, have less energy and feel hungrier - and your risk of depression jumps. So, here are a few ways to fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- Load up on light. The idea is to get your mind out of “it’s getting dark outside, time to sleep mode.” So, go outside during your lunch break to get your daylight fix! And as soon as you get home, turn on the lights so your brain doesn’t get lulled into “sleep zone.”
- Go for a nighttime workout. Studies show that early evening exercise can help keep you energized during the evening. The key? Work out two hours before bed. That way, your brain has time to come off the dopamine exercise high so you’ll actually be able to fall asleep.
- Don’t sleep late on weekends. Dr. Michael Terman, a psychologist and SAD specialist, says that oversleeping allows your body clock to drift later. And when you’re out of sync with local time, it can make you sluggish and depressed.
- Use a light-therapy box. This mimics natural outdoor light. Dr. Terman believes that half the population would benefit from 30 minutes of light box therapy every morning. It’ll help increase your energy by mimicking natural sunlight, so a regular lamp won't do the trick.