Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that usually forms during the transition between months, most commonly fall into winter. Common symptoms of SAD include a decrease in energy and an increase of moodiness, while other sufferers have reported problems with sleeping too little or too much, trouble concentrating, change in appetite and feelings of worthlessness.
While the cause for SAD is unknown, there is some evidence that it is related to the body’s level of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Darkness stimulates the body’s production of melatonin, so naturally as days get shorter each winter, people tend to feel sleepier and more lethargic.
Alternatively, people with SAD may have trouble regulating their levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood, as well as a reduced production of Vitamin D (in response to sunlight) which is also believed to play a role in serotonin activity in the body. Having a Vitamin D deficiency is associated with clinically significant depression symptoms.
So how can you battle SAD? While there are a few options out there for people to experience different forms of light therapy, or even trying to get outside more often, some suggest that floatation therapy can really help.
It may seem counterproductive to remove light from a person with SAD, but by removing all external stimulation including light, sound, gravity and even the cause of the depression, the mind and body are free to focus on other things. By removing these negative sensory stimuli, clients can enjoy the many positive lasting effects of a float session.
Float therapy helps lower stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline while increasing the hormones associated with positive mindsets – dopamine and serotonin.
This drastic swing in hormones also helps to promote creative thinking as the mind transitions to a deep meditative state which also aids in boosting positivity, energy, self esteem, and motivation which further help fight depression.
If you are feeling the weight of Seasonal Affective Disorder and are interested in learning more about float therapy, get in touch with us or book your first float session today!