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Why Fewer Hours Of Sunlight Needn’t Darken Your Mood

Some people see less than 10hrs a week. Become Mr. and Mrs. Brightside with a few tips.

We go to work in the dark, exist under halogen, come home in the dark. Sound familiar? As the days grow shorter, our 9-5 grind could mean we’re confined to a few months of perpetual darkness. A study by Healthspan found that many of us will see less than 10 hours of daylight for an entire week, leaving 56% of us increasingly tired and 1 in 3 of us in a grim mood due to the onset of winter.

It’s small wonder that these mood changes, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, are so common. The British Journal of Psychiatry found lower vitamin D levels – you know, the stuff accumulated from sunlight – correlated with increasing symptoms of depression.

So, what can you do? Here’s 3 tips to shake the weight from your back and hit your desk with a smile on your face, ensuring the black dog is back in its cage – or at least hibernating until spring.

1. Lean machine: The University of Birmingham found a correlation between lean muscle mass and increased vitamin D in the bloodstream. Combine a one-two punch of a vitamin supp and our mood-boosting workout to KO the blues.

2. Mushroom for improvement: Buy a box of shiitake and leave it out for a couple of days. Penn State University found mushrooms can absorb vitamin D while you’re laboring at work, increasing their levels of the micronutrient. It’s like a mouthful of sunshine.

3. Don’t go spare: Despite media claims to the contrary, vitamin D is not a catch-all panacea. Check how potent your supplements are, as most single doses are between 1,000 and 2,000iu (or “international unit”) of vitamin D. However, be careful, as it’s potentially unwise to take lots of supplements to overload your dosage, as this may do more harm than good.

Posted on menshealth.com by Matt Evans. Includes research data from Penn State University.

Please seek medical attention if symptoms occur for days at a time and activities that usually boost your mood don’t work. Don’t have a physician? Call Patty Kelly, Physician Referral Specialist, & let her help you find the perfect fit.

  610-378-2001   |   toll free 844-363-0882   |   FindAPhysician@PennStateHealth.psu.edu


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