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  18 months ago

How light affects our body

Most of us know what depression is, but how much do you know about seasonal depression?

On the 22nd of December, the winter solstice took place, which means it was the shortest day of the year. A short day means less sunlight. A lack of sunlight can lead to a so-called seasonal depression. Loss of motivation, tiredness and reduced alertness are the consequences of this depression.

The "Medical Sleep Centre" in Strasbourg is researching how the lack of light affects our bodies. On one hand, light regulates our day and night rhythm. On the other, light has a direct effect on our body, because light transmits a lot of information to our neural networks. Thus, light has a positive effect on our alertness, our performance and betters our mood.

As days are shorter in autumn and winter, we do not see as much sunlight as we need. Therefore, one researcher proposes “light-therapies” to fight seasonal depressions. This form of therapy has the same effects as therapy with medication, combining those two forms of therapy, can lead to even better results for the patient.

Additionally, researchers from the centre in Strasbourg mention that our body needs different amounts and intensities of light during the day.

For example, in the morning and during lunch, we need more intense light, and, at night, we need less light. As our human bodies are, as most animal species, programmed in line with the Earth's cycle of night and day. Making for another reason why we are advised to not use, smartphones, tablets or laptops shortly before going to bed, as our bodies don’t need light at night, especially LED light, from those devices as this makes us more alert.

Do you think you have ever suffered from seasonal depression?

How would you deal with it?

Are you excited about the days getting longer again?

Do you use your phone, tablet or laptop before you go to bed?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Influence your world,

Toluna Team


  18 months ago
I totally agree with this and have experienced this before. To be honest I just ride it out and tend to stay indoors more. For years I've had a prescription for Vitamin D because apparently my levels are so low all year round. I think the longer days will be helpful and I will visit more parks etc. now that the day doesn't end at 4pm!


  18 months ago
Light helps our bodies make Vitamins and minerals especially VD.


  18 months ago
I (almost) like the darker months as there are less people about - It's humans that are my Achilles! But good daylight does help with motivation over doing more outdoor activities, that's a given.


  18 months ago
I didnt Know this at all


  18 months ago
I think everyone does suffer from seasonal depression a bit, and the best way to deal with it is to try and keep busy and be with friends and family as much as possible. The days getting longer will definitely be good, and can't wait for better weather


  18 months ago
Sunlight is good for the body as long as you do not overdo the exposure to the sun rays. Early morning and late afternoon are best when the rays are not so strong.


  18 months ago
Very common nowadays...I know a lot of people affected by SAD, as it is known.
I don't suffer, but I did buy an alarm clock for a friend, that wakes you up slowly, gently, with an increasing light, presumably imitating Sunshine.
Never heard if it did any good.
No expert, but I have read that if you eat a few Brazil Nuts a day, it increases serotonin levels, so that may help, certainly wouldn't hurt. too, I hate the cold ... Or am I getting old:))


  18 months ago
It is very important


  18 months ago
I do not suffer from it but I know people that do. Most of them have lights tat replicate the effects of sunlight to help them cope with the condition. I read up on it some time ago, and the report I read said it was becoming more common,so I wonder if this was the first indications of the effects of prolonged use of tablets, and smartphones ? I am more affected by temperature, often feeling that I should hibernate for the winter to get away from the cold.


  18 months ago
I do not suffer with SAD but I know ones who do, and I know I am definitely effected by the seasons. It's a strange thing really as we have always had winters so why are our bodies not used to it. I joke about how I was made for this (the UK) country and that I need to be somewhere permanently that is warmer, has more sun etc but I guess it is actually a serious point. Of course if I had SAD I know there are definitely some fantastic light therapies available so I would definitely make use of that. I would also explore what other therapies were available if I felt I needed it.
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