How Does Seasonal Depression Impact Sleep?

By | April 21, 2023

Seasonal depression is a type of depression in which people experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and/or listlessness for an extended period during a particular portion of the year. Sufferers tend to experience these feelings for four or five months a year, and they will typically be in the winter months. Like most forms of depression, seasonal depression is often associated with sleep problems.

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Hey it's Bridget with sleepopolis and Today we are here with our director of Sleep Health Dr Shelby Harris talking About seasonal depression and Dr Harris Thank you so much for joining us thanks For having me I always love talking with You [Music] So first what is seasonal depression and How does it differ from other forms of Depression so seasonal depression tends To happen as the name says it's Seasonally based so most people if they Have seasonal affective disorder they Notice it when the fall and winter comes On and then when the spring comes it Tends to get better so they really don't Have any significant depression symptoms Over the summer and then again the fall Comes and it comes back there are some People who have the opposite where They'll start to feel it in the spring And then it gets better in the winter But that's a little that's a lot more Uncommon than the other version and what Are some of those symptoms The symptoms can be very similar in many Cases to depression so it can be a lack Of interest in things you normally enjoy The winter-based ones we tend to see More weight gain fatigue there's a sad Depressed mood sometimes people will Notice some slowing in their movements They might spend more time in bed almost

Feeling like they're hibernating for Some people and then it can go to the Extreme of having thoughts of hurting Yourself or anybody else and then in the Spring kind of version of it we tend to See more of that insomnia so it could be You're not necessarily you're in bed a Lot but you're sleeping less than you Would in the winter version but it tends To come and then it gets better when the Seasons abate and how does Daylight Saving Time impact this so it's Definitely for the people who tend to Have the fall winter version when we Have the fall back that tends to really Affect people because it's a pretty Sharp change in the amount of light that We're getting so at the end of daylight Saving when we go into Standard time Standard time is how our bodies are Supposed to be and we actually prefer People stay in standard time but it's at Abrupt change from the fallback that Then now we have a lot more Darkness at Night and it's the lack of light and Movement that can really impact people What do you recommend people do to help With this so light therapy is really Important so it's something you Definitely want to talk with your doctor About if you do think there is a Seasonal component to any depression That you're having so it would be Getting a light box making sure your

Eyes are okay trying to use the light of Very prescribed time that your doctor Has told you but even if you don't use a Light box it's really trying to make Sure during the day time to get light in The morning get that light in your eyes Eat around the window if you can get Little breaks to go outside it's really Bathing your brain in light and then in The afternoon evening trying to keep the Lights on and try to keep some activity And not getting into bed too early so It's really about finding activities to Do finding things that give you pleasure And a sense of accomplishment to do During the day and then building in Light as well and working on diet and Exercise that can help as well I think If you're experiencing symptoms of Depression that have been going on for a Few weeks at least two or so weeks Definitely talk to your doctor but if They're not getting better at the end of Let's say you have the fall based one if It's not getting better come the spring It might be a longer term type of Depression and in either case you still Want to talk with your doctor because There are really effective treatments Alright thank you again so much and Thank you all for joining us as well if You have any questions feel free to Click that link in the description below And also head over to

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