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Alaska Sleep Education Center

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Nov 16, 2019 6:40:00 PM

"Winter is coming." For most people throughout the world, these words are generally associated with George R. R. Martin's famous saga A Game of Thrones. But for us here in Alaska, the words aren't merely a pop-cultural reference, but instead ring a very real truth: the days are short, the nights long and cold. That doesn't mean, however, that the winter blues have to come with it.

Approximately 6% of the U.S. population suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression characterized by its recurrence around the same time every year. While a small percentage of people afflicted with SAD show symptoms in the spring or early summer, the majority of people with SAD begin to show mild symptoms in the fall, which gradually become more severe as the season progresses, and then begins to subside around the onset of spring. The prevalence of SAD is also higher amongst the northernmost states where winter months are darker, colder, and last longer.

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Topics: seasonal affective disorder, winter

How Does Light Affect Health and Well-Being?

Posted by Jennifer Bell on Nov 2, 2019 9:18:00 AM

 

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Topics: seasonal affective disorder, light therapy

Are You A Nocturnal Humans?

Posted by Mary Jones on Oct 11, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Some time ago, I posted a theory that the epidemic of sleep disorders comes from the fact that some humans are naturally nocturnal.

About six months after forming that theory, I once again fell into patterns of sleep that could be deemed “normal” – I went to bed around 9:00 or 9:30 at night and got up at 6:00 every morning.

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Topics: insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, delayed sleep phase

Soaking Up the Sun

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Jul 23, 2019 8:54:59 AM

Summer months are meant to be spent on the lake, hiking, or enjoying a walk. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine.

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Topics: seasonal affective disorder, exercise, summer, light therapy

How moms can fight seasonal affective disorder

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Oct 27, 2017 9:24:32 AM

If the final months of the year get you or one of your family members feeling down, irritable, or low on energy or craving sweet or starchy foods and sleeping more or less than usual, you may experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that’s common in the winter months. There is not one Alaskan that has not had to deal with at least one side affect of these seasonal blues. 

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Topics: seasonal affective disorder, depression, suicide, winter

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