That phrase may stir up bad memories of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” but there is a greater risk with the changing seasons: seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Luckily for you, we live in an age where research, technology and innovative products have been developed to help combat those seasonal blues. First, you should speak to a doctor and do your own research to see what the best possible solution for you may be, but here are a few ideas to help get you started.
However, with the sun beginning to rise later, you may be greeted with darkness instead of the sun during the winter months when you wake up in the morning.
With a wake-up light, you’re able to simulate the rays from the rising sun flooding your room to help gently wake you up instead of having your sleep suddenly disturbed by a blaring alarm clock.
“While it can take time, and be hard to adjust, there are ways to adapt to the time change,” Aloia said. “Research shows that people do best when they rise with light. In fact, studies have shown that exposure to bright light in the morning can help people wake up feeling more ready for their day. During these fall and winter months when there is less exposure to sunlight, it can be helpful to counteract the effects of lost sunlight with bright, artificial light therapy.”
There are multiple wake-up lights on the market.
If you’ve been resistant or slow to the idea of embracing a smart home, this might be the time to reconsider.
You don’t have to go all-in and buy every gadget, device or appliance for your home. You can help combat those seasonal blues with two simple devices: A Google Home or Alexa-enabled device and some smart light bulbs.
With gentle sleep, you can set your lights to a warm white color and have them slowly dim over 30 minutes to help you fall asleep.
Like a wake-up light, you can use the gentle wake feature to brighten your lights over a period of 30 minutes to imitate the rising sun.
Light therapy boxes
“The most widely used and extensively investigated treatment for SAD is light therapy (i.e., daily exposure to bright artificial light during the symptomatic months),” Dr. Kelly Rohan wrote in a study for the APA. “Light therapy devices rigorously tested in clinical trials for SAD emit a controlled amount of cool, white fluorescent or full spectrum light with a built-in screen to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays.”
A good night’s rest can be critical to good health, and weighted blankets have been growing in popularity for people with insomnia and anxiety.
“After struggling with insomnia, I was looking for a natural sleep solution and through my research I came across the medical science of putting weight on the body, which can help people sleep better in a natural way,” Kathrin Hamm, CEO and founder of weighted blanket company Bearaby, told CNN. “I found that weighted blankets have been around for more than 60 years now and studies have found that the feeling of weight on the body reduces stress and anxiety levels, and give users the deepest, most restful sleep.”
“The studies highlights how a weighted blanket basically simulates a comforting hug, in theory helping to calm and settle the nervous system,” Hamm says.
“Medical research has shown that sleeping under weight makes us sleep and feel better, decreasing cortisol levels, easing tension in mind and body.”
Weighted blankets may not be for everyone, but there is a low cost of risk associated with trying it. What may not work for some could be the solution you’ve been looking for all along.