(Photo: Buena Vista Images / Getty Images)By Michelle Schoffro Cook
More from Care2 Green Living blog
The days are getting shorter. Fall has arrived in all its resplendent beauty. While the changing colors are lovely, insufficient daylight may find you down in the dumps and more tired than usual.
The Cleveland Clinic estimates that at least 10 to 20 percent of the population suffers from some sort of seasonal depression brought on by shorter days. An additional 4 to 6 percent of North Americans suffer from a more extreme version of "winter blues" called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
At this stage of the research, the disorder seems to be related to insufficient light and the resulting hormonal disruptions caused by the pineal gland. When the pineal gland believes it is in darkness, it secretes a hormone called melatonin, which has sedative properties.
There are numerous symptoms of the winter blues, but the main ones usually appear in the colder season and include:
- Change in appetite, particularly for