Life is all about taking the good with the bad, whether balancing the highs and lows of a relationship or having trouble buttoning your pants after a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Daylight Savings Time is no different. While it’s the one time of year that we can nab an extra hour of shut-eye, this shift back in time can leave our head spinning. The excitement of Daylight Savings fades quickly once we remember that the long winter is upon us. But why do we get so down during the winter months? And what can we do to feel better? Here is how to beat the winter blues after Daylight Savings.
Why Do We Get Winter Blues?
Approximately 20% of Americans develop a shift in their disposition in the latter months of the year. Almost two-thirds of people feel down during the winter months, while one-third have a more serious development of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Cases of SAD seem to intensify in northern areas that are prone to more snow. Yet, even if you live in warmer temperatures, the thermostat will still drop. Cold temperatures mean more time spent indoors. This feeling of confinement is enough to make anyone feel a bit anxious, but there’s more going on than just being restless.
Lack of Vitamin D
When the sun shines fewer hours of the day, we have less opportunities to soak up some vitamin D from our greatest source of this essential micronutrient (the sun, of course). Not only is the sun out for a shorter period, but it’s at its peak during our work hours. So, we’re going into work when the sun is barely out and leaving when it’s pitch black. As a result, we get very little face time with the sun and vitamin D.
What’s even more alarming is that vitamin D deficiency is already prevalent among humans. Currently, 10% of Americans have a lack of vitamin D. Even more alarming, 40% of the African American population suffers from vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is troublesome for mental health. There are vitamin D receptors in the hypothalamus region of the brain. This area has a significant impact on the endocrine and central nervous systems. So, vitamin D influences essential mood regulators, such as the production of hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
Furthermore, Vitamin D is essential in cell signaling processes and the development of brain pathways. That’s why a lack of Vitamin D in the system has been attributed to the development of some mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia.
How Winter Blues Affect Sleep
Exposure to the sun doesn’t just affect our vitamin D intake. It also plays a role in our sleep patterns. Since the sun is going down sooner, our pineal gland holds less of a charge. Therefore, we produce less melatonin. As a result, we might sleep less.
In fact, you might have thought you gained extra sleep, thanks to Daylight Savings, however research shows that it actually takes over a week for our circadian rhythm to adjust to this change.
Even more confusing, people tend to sleep 2.5 extra hours during the darker winter months. This research infers that people grab sleep whenever they can. As a result, their biological clock never gets into a routine. By receiving such broken sleep, we may never enter the restorative REM state our mind craves. This lack of sleep may further perpetuate our winter blues.
How to Beat the Winter Blues
There are many little steps you can take to combat the winter blues. However, if you feel there is a bigger mental health issue going on, please contact a specialist. There are many ways to receive help out there. There’s no reason to suffer all season long.
One of the easiest ways to beat the winter blues is through your sense of smell. Our nose is laden with neural tissues that interact with our olfactory system. The olfactory system is regulated by the olfactory bulb.
When we smell an essential oil, aromatic molecules that create that particular scent stimulates our tissues. When the olfactory bulb interprets the message sent from the aromatic compound, it will transport this terpene directly to the thalamus.
Our thalamus regulates many of our bodily functions, including motor and sensory signaling. Therefore, using essential oils that have a positive impact on the olfactory system may improve your overall state of mind.
Go Outside Anyway
Feeling trapped indoors? Break free and go outside. Yes, even if it’s cold! Just make sure you layer up.
Let’s face it, hibernating all winter is practically admitting defeat. Why lay down and let the winter blues win? Reclaim the season by stepping outside of your comfort zone…by stepping outside!
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, let the sunshine hit your skin. Allow the vitamin D to permeate your pores and enter your bloodstream. You’ll feel better about going outside in no time.
If you work during the sunny hours, find time to make it outside. Cut your lunch five minutes short for a lap around the office. Perhaps skip a break? Maybe you can leave a little early so you can reap the benefits of whatever sun is left!
Use All-Natural Supplements
The best way to combat the winter blues is to prepare our bodies for this massive routine change. You can ease into this shift of regimen by supplementing with all-natural Tranquilene.
Tranquilene is enriched with vitamin D3 to help counteract the lack of sun time that we get during the dark, cold winter months. With this essential mineral in the formula, you can improve the cell signaling going on in your central nervous system.
This all-natural supplement offers further support to fight off the winter blues because it contains other influential neurotransmitters derived from our endocrine system. One of these pivotal hormones is GABA.
GABA slows down excited neurons. This reaction is essential for someone whose winter blues symptoms include anxiety. When GABA enters the system, it naturally lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. As a result, we have an easier time falling asleep. By supplementing with Tranquilene and GABA, you can help your circadian rhythm rebound from Daylight Savings.
Our formula also contains tryptophan. Yes, this is the same chemical that induces sleep after eating turkey at Thanksgiving. The reason tryptophan makes us feel sleepy is that our body converts it into 5-HTP, which is the precursor to serotonin. Many call serotonin our “feel-good hormone.” Therefore, supplementing with this neurotransmitter during the dreary winter months can help beat those winter blues.
Tryptophan couldn’t create serotonin without a catalyst to facilitate this change. That’s why Tranquilene also includes niacinamide. This vitamin B3 molecule interacts with tryptophan to produce serotonin. So, by adding this vitamin in our blend, you’re better equipped to fight the winter blues ahead.
How do you manage your winter blows? Let us know in the comments below!