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LCHF vs winter-depression

If you are reading my blog regularly, you have probably realized that I struggle a lot with lack of energy, and trouble to fall asleep at night.

I am suspecting that this has to do with winter-depression. I normally get it when the weather gets darker and the days shorter as we are closing in to winter, and my symptoms are very classical.

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Now people must not mix this with real depression. When you have winter-depression, you are not sad, it is not a mental condition, but your body reacts physically like if you have a real depression.

A real depression is caused by the way you think. Winter-depression is caused by a physical condition: lack of melatonin and serotonin.

Melatonin is a hormone that has many tasks in our body, and one of them is to make us sleep. The body starts produce melatonin when it is dark outside, and stops when it is daylight. Therefore, a regular day-rhythm with daylight and darkness is very important to make the body produce the correct balance of melatonin.

When the winter closes in this far north on the globe, the days get shorter, and the body gets less daylight. This creates a disturbance in the melatonin level in the body, and the result is sleepiness, lack of energy, and problems to fall asleep.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, that helps one nerve to send a message to another nerve. Without neurotransmitters, the nerves cannot send messages to the brain, or the brain to the nerves, and we can't move or feel anything. When it gets darker outside during winter, the serotonin-production in the body decreases, and many people get lack of serotonin. The outcome is depression, lack of energy, problems to fall asleep, and mood-swings.

If you've ever heard about happiness-pills, or antidepressants, they consists of something that makes the body produce more serotonin. Even though anti-depressants have many side effects, they do have documented effect on depression.

But how can you increase the level of serotonin, and make the production of melatonin in the body steady without pills?

There are mainly 3 ways to do it: exercising, eating healthy, and light-therapy.

Light-therapy consists of a lamp that gives out light with a color as similar to real daylight as possible. The treatment consists of sitting in front of the lamp for 30-45 minutes every morning. This tells the body that it is morning, and the body stops producing melatonin. The light also stimulates the brain to start producing more serotonin.

(Guess where I have learned all this stuff?? By reading biology!!! :D)

I have tried light-therapy before, so we already had one of these special lamps. They look like this:

Since I can sense a serious lack of serotonin and chaotic melatonin-production in my body, I decided to start with light-therapy again this morning. I didn't think I would experience any effect that fast, but this day I have just been so full of energy!WOW! I feel great

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Posted in Memorial Post Date 04/16/2015


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