Do you find that your life seems to be tinged with sadness during the short, dreary days of winter? Did you know that there’s a very real medical condition that could be the cause of your wintertime blues? It’s called Seasonal Effective Disorder – a name that yields the appropriate-enough acronym of SAD.
Scientists aren’t entirely certain what bodily changes cause the symptoms of SAD, but there’s no longer any dispute that it’s a very real problem for some people. People that suffer from SAD are often thrown into a moody, low-energy funk that lasts throughout the darker, shorter days of winter.
The wintertime depression that SAD manifests may be due to seasonal changes in brain chemistry, such as melatonin, serotonin and dopamine levels. Some scientists have speculated that SAD might even be caused by ions in the air – the wintertime air is charged with fewer negative ions than springtime air. And there seems to be a genetic component to the disorder; if a parent suffered from SAD, it’s more likely that you will too.
But the ultimate cause of SAD is a lack of light. As the leaves fall and the air chills, the shorter, darker days trigger your symptoms if you suffer from SAD. And conversely, increasing the amount of light that you’re exposed to can help to reduce the symptoms of SAD.
No Need to Suffer Until Springtime…
The lengthening days of springtime offer a natural cure for SAD. But if you suffer from the symptoms of SAD, you don’t want to have to suffer in silence all winter, just waiting for May Day. And you don’t have to.
That’s because studies have shown that artificial sources of light can help to reduce the symptoms of SAD – perhaps not as effectively as the longer, sunnier days of springtime, but enough to help. In fact, doctors treating SAD sufferers sometimes achieve a complete remission of symptoms through light therapy treatments.
Let Your Landscape Lighting Brighten Your Mood
Landscape lighting offers many benefits that are oft discussed: increased home security, increasing the property value of your home, making your landscape safer. But for sufferers of SAD, using landscape lighting to convert your dark and dreary landscape into a bright and cheery nightscape might add yet another benefit.
Landscape lighting isn’t an official treatment for SAD, of course. And if you suspect that you suffer from SAD, you should seek diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional.
But if you suffer from wintertime blues, perking up your property with lots of bright and beautiful landscape lighting certainly won’t hurt. And even if you don’t suffer from SAD, all of the other wonderful benefits of landscape lighting are bound to make you more HAPPY.