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The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer, a seasonal change that causes millions of Americans to feel less happy and experience stress, anxiety, and even depression — so much so that there is a term for the condition: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD inhibits an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus from working properly in that it lessens natural production of the hormones serotonin & melatonin. Serotonin plays a key role in such body functions as mood, sleep, cognition, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and sexual desire. Serotonin levels that are too low or too high can cause physical & psychological health problems. Melatonin plays a role in managing your circadian rhythm, sometimes called the “body’s clock.”

Circadian rhythm is the natural cycle of physical, mental, and behavioral changes the body goes through in a 24-hour cycle, including your sleep-wake pattern. Circadian rhythm is influenced by environmental factors and mostly affected by daylight & darkness. Your brain receives signals based on your environment and activates certain hormones, alters your body temperature, and regulates your metabolism and other body functions to keep you alert or draw you to sleep. Abnormal circadian rhythms may be linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and sleep disorders (insomnia).

Thankfully, there are specific simple actions people can take to curb these unwanted effects of the annual seasonal shift.

Less Sunlight & Vitamin D can Mean Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Restlessness, and Poor Sleep

Most experts attribute the unpleasant emotions often associated with the shift from autumn to winter to the lack of vitamin D millions of Americans experience when sunlight becomes somewhat sparse. The days are significantly shorter, and as autumn comes to a close and winter looms on the horizon, what daylight does occur is more likely to be overcast & gray than sunny & clear. The result? About 6% of Americans experience unwanted emotions (SAD) when the season changes. Another 14% suffer from a lesser form of seasonal mood changes, known as the “winter blues.”[1]  That’s a total 20%, or 1 in 5, of us negatively affected.

In addition to taking vitamin D supplements, there are daily actions people can engage in that improve mood during winter:

  • Get outside, despite the weather. Fresh air always helps, as does exercise. Further, even if it’s cloudy, walking through the park will still invite some filtered vitamin D from the sun.
  • Get moving. If the weather is terrible and going for a walk isn’t an option, experts recommend exercising at home, at the gym, or taking aerobics classes.
  • Avoid alcohol. People sometimes turn to alcohol when they feel depressed. Unfortunately, alcohol furthers depression. It does not lessen unwanted emotions because alcohol itself is a depressant.
  • Socialize! Some experts say the social interaction of engaging with a family member or friend can produce feel-good chemicals in the brain. These chemicals counteract stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression associated with short days & long nights.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. We get our energy from the food we eat, and the better the food, the more natural & healthful the energy boost. A diet rich in fruits & vegetables with clean protein, minimally processed foods, and low sugar levels lends itself to a better, healthier mindset.

Immune Solution® 100% Natural Ashwagandha Extract

Many people take vitamin D supplements when the days shorten and the sun becomes scarce. These may certainly help, but more is needed to reduce stress. Quoting Immune Solution® founder Jackie Page:

“Known to many herbalists as the Ayurvedic answer to ginseng, this powerful adaptogenic herb has been used in India for thousands of years to strengthen the immune system and to help support and normalize body functions and processes affected by stress.”

Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs of Ayurveda (the traditional system of medicine in India) used for millennia as a natural stress remedy because it gets at the root cause of stress, thereby promoting a youthful state of physical & mental health while expanding happiness and increasing longevity.

Ashwagandha has been proven to lower cortisol levels, one of the primary causes of heightened stress levels. Lower cortisol levels lead to lower stress & anxiety. Simultaneously, Ashwagandha promotes a positive outlook, improves mood, supports healthy brain function, heightens nerve communication, provides focus, and creates a soothing sense of calm.

In addition to effectively neutralizing stress, anxiety, and depression, Ashwagandha boasts other evidence-based, science-backed health benefits, including:[2][3]

  • Exhibits Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
  • Promotes Better Sleep Quality and Improved Waking Mental Alertness
  • Lowers Blood Glucose (blood sugar) Levels and Triglycerides (most common type of fat in the blood)
  • Enhances Athletic Performance, Endurance, and Stamina
  • Increases Muscle Size and Strength
  • Significantly Improves Sexual Function in Women
  • Significantly Boosts Fertility and Testosterone Levels in Men
  • Improves Cognition, Sharpening Focus, Memory, and Motor Response
  • Bolsters Cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) Endurance

Rather than you seeking potentially addictive pharmaceuticals or experimenting with expensive treatments or technology, choose instead to utilize a non-habit-forming natural herbal remedy trusted in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Visit our 100% Natural Ashwagandha Extract product page for more information, and don’t hesitate to please call our office at (727) 768-4688, or send us an email to sales@immunesolution.com with any questions about this or other Immune Solution® products! 

Let’s have a happy & healthy November!

Ren Brabenec
Immune Solution® Staff Writer

 

Sources:
[1] Everyday Health. “14 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression.” Everyday Health, October 2021. everydayhealth.com
[2] Forbes. “7 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Ashwagandha.” Forbes Health, June 2022. forbes.com
[3] Healthline. “9 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha.” Healthline Media, January 2022. healthline.com

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