Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is most commonly associated with the winter months. However, a variant, known as Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder (Summer SAD), can occur during the long, sunlit days of summer.
It manifests unique symptoms due to shifts in daylight duration and increased temperatures. This guide dives into the causes, symptoms, and natural management strategies for Summer SAD.
Probing the Origins of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder
The onset of Summer SAD can be linked to a multitude of factors that disrupt our natural biological rhythms.
Extended daylight hours and intense summer heat can interfere with our body’s circadian rhythm, our internal biological clock. As this rhythm gets thrown off balance, it can lead to an imbalance of melatonin, the hormone governing sleep. This disruption can then instigate a domino effect, impacting mood and overall well-being.
Causes of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- Disruption of the circadian rhythm due to prolonged daylight hours
- Intense summer heat and fluctuating temperatures
- Disrupted melatonin levels causing sleep and mood disturbances
Recognising Symptoms of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder
Summer SAD can significantly disrupt daily routines. Symptoms span from sleep disturbances to psychological issues like restlessness and anxiety. It’s important to note that each person’s experience may vary, with some individuals even experiencing physical symptoms such as migraines or heightened sensitivity to heat.
Symptoms of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- Insomnia and subsequent fatigue
- Decreased appetite leading to unintended weight loss
- Increased restlessness and agitation
- Heightened anxiety and mood disturbances
- Physical discomforts like persistent headaches or increased sensitivity to heat
Implementing Natural Remedies for Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder
If Summer SAD symptoms are affecting your quality of life, seeking professional advice is vital. Alongside this, certain natural strategies can be employed to help manage symptoms.
Keeping a Cool Indoor Environment
Maintaining a cool indoor climate can provide relief from intense summer light and heat, easing some symptoms of Summer SAD.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can be beneficial in managing Summer SAD. It assists in recognising and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours that might exacerbate symptoms.
Balanced Diet and Regular Exercise
Despite a possible reduced appetite, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial. Combine this with regular exercise, preferably during cooler parts of the day, to improve overall health, mood, and sleep quality.
Navigating Through Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder
Summer SAD is a serious condition that requires understanding and attention. Knowing its causes, recognising its symptoms, and implementing natural remedies can help manage its challenges. However, always consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and a personalised treatment plan.