By Alex Orlov for Life by DailyBurn
Do dark, chilly days make your mood cloud over this time each year? You’re not alone: Roughly 10 to 20 percent of Americans report feeling tired or sad when there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter months. With bone-chilling temperatures and blustery winds, it’s easy to give in to laziness and snooze just a little longer instead of dragging yourself to that early spin class — or, make a date with Netflix instead of bundling up and getting dinner with friends.
While many people can still function even if they’re feeling a bit melancholy, for some, winter brings a clinical form of depression called seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. According to Kelly Rohan, Ph.D, Professor and Director of Clinical Training at University of Vermont, at least two percent of the population suffers from the psychiatric condition, but that percentage tends to increase in regions with shorter hours of sunlight. Researchers estimate that up to ten percent of Alaskans experience SAD symptoms such as fatigue, overeating, loss of interest in activities and difficulty concentrating.