Winter Depression UK
We all know how hard it can be to get out of bed on a cold, dark winter morning. But anybody afflicted with what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) will find this time of year even more difficult.
SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.
Symptoms of SAD – Winter Depression UK
Symptoms of SAD can include:
- a persistent low mood
- a loss of pleasure or interest in everyday activities
- feelings of despair, guilt, and worthlessness
- feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
- sleeping for longer than usual and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
What is seasonal affective disorder?
SAD is known as ‘winter depression’ as it can give people symptoms of a persistent low mood, irritability, and feelings of lethargy during the colder seasons. But it’s not just our mood that can be affected, as SAD can also make us sleep longer and gain weight too.
It’s thought that lack of sunlight causes SAD. Sunlight helps the hypothalamus part of our brain produce serotonin, which regulates our mood, appetite, and sleeping patterns. In addition to this, spending more hours in darkness means our bodies have more melatonin, making us feel naturally sleepy.
How to beat SAD
Whilst severe cases of seasonal affective disorder should always be treated by a medical professional, we can do a few simple things, such as exercising and eating a nutritious and balanced diet to help beat the winter blues.
But regardless of whether you have SAD or need help adjusting to the dark days of winter, it’s clear that sleeping well can work wonders in helping to boost our moods. So here are some simple tips to try and get you through the dreary months of winter.
Declutter your bedroom and get the basics right.
Getting that mythical eight-hour sleep will be impossible if your bedroom is a chaotic mess. So be sure to strip everything back to the bare minimum and transform your sleeping space into a place of tranquillity.
Don’t forget to pay special attention to your bed, either. Seeing as we spend one-third of our lives between the covers, perhaps think about an adjustable bed with an optional massage unit that can help you wind down after a stressful winter’s day.
Give Feng Shui a try.
If you’re looking for a few tips on decluttering your bedroom, think about how the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui can work wonders in bringing peace into your sleeping environment.
Easy tips like banishing mirrors, avoiding having your bed in line with the door, and ensuring the bed is approachable from both sides might sound simplistic. Still, they can dramatically overhaul the whole feel of your bedroom.
Keep your bedroom free of electronics.
Most of us are probably guilty of spending time on our smartphones or tablets in bed. But the blue light emitted by these electrical devices can play havoc with our sleeping patterns.
So be sure to allow yourself a good hour of smartphone-free time before you want to sleep. And there’s nothing like taking a hot bath or curling up with a good book to make you sleepy.
Sleep inducing aesthetics
Even something as simple as the colours we paint our bedroom walls can significantly affect our sleeping habits. So be sure to keep your colour tones restrained to neutral hues, but ramp up the comfort factor with plenty of lovely soft furnishings in pillows, cushions, and throws.
And don’t forget how the power of a few well-placed tea-light candles can make even the blandest bedroom seem so much more inviting!
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