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Seasonal Affective Disorder | Symptoms And Its Effect On Your Circadian Rhythm

SAD Disorder More Common In Women

Seasonal affective disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder which results in depressed mood and tired feeling experienced in the winters. In the United States, statistics shows that out of hundred people, SAD is experienced by 7; which contributes to a large percentage. There are many patients with mild SAD problem. It is found more common in women than in men.  Also, SAD is also experienced by many teenagers and children today. However, it is not so much common with them and usually SAD is not experienced in person younger than 21. Seasonal affective disorder usually decreases as you get older.

SAD – A Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder Of Winters

When the sun is shining, we are full of energy and happier. On winters, it just becomes the opposite. Lack of sunshine in winters results in poor concentration and mood disorder, which are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, one of the most common circadian rhythm sleep disorder in winters. Our biological clock works with the cycle of light and darkness of the environment. In winters, days become short and night becomes longer. The intensity of light decreases and darkness increases, which produce changes in our biological clock. These changes manipulate the sleeping cycle of our body and hence we get seasonal affective disorder. However, there are many ways that could help you overcome seasonal affective disorder.

Symptoms Of SAD And Its Effect On Circadian Rhythm

The symptoms of SAD can vary from person to person but few of the most common symptoms of this circadian rhythm sleep disorder can be the following:

  • Feeling of fatigue prevailing all the day, resulting in poor concentration and daytime activity level.
  • Low level of hormone secretion in the body, resulting in bad health or illness. People with SAD may develop a lowered immune system. Cough and cold becomes more active and also other infections.
  • The change in melatonin secretion level and circadian rhythm due to SAD in winters results in poor sleep quality and sometimes sleeplessness.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is mostly accompanied by depression. You may experience different feeling such as crying, being sad, guilty, fear and sometimes feeling emptiness.
  •  A change in mood is also noticed in SAD. You may become excessively cheerful known as hypomania during winters.
  •  Poor concentration level in children and teenagers suffering with SAD. This results in their poor grades and lower performance.
  • Anxiety level also increases in many people when suffering with SAD.
  • Low interest of social activity- Circadian rhythm sleep disorder like SAD and many others causes depression which hampers the interests of being social. A feeling of not wanting to see people increases.
  • Depression and higher level of anxiety resulting from SAD gives a rise to overeating. You may crave yourself for more carbohydrates and henceforth put in more calories than required.
  • Alcohol and illicit drug abuse

Changes in circadian rhythm due to SAD may also result to many other kind of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. So watch these symptoms and immediate seek assistance so that the SAD does not become chronic.

Light Therapy For SAD

Light Treatment For SAD To Fight Against Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

Many people search for their own treatments for SAD but it is advised to consult a sleep expert for a better advice. The most common treatment can be followed is the light therapy. There are many good devices available online. However, to get the best and controlled results from light treatment it should be medically supervised. I hope now that you are familiar with the various symptoms of SAD; you will definitely be able to treat this circadian rhythm sleep disorder as soon as possible.