Winter Depression Symptoms

Many people suffer from depression in the winter time, but many do not recognize the symptoms. Let’s take a look at winter depression symptoms and how to combat them.

Winter Depression Symptoms – What Is It?

Winter depression is sometimes called seasonal effective disorder (SAD) and can occur to anyone, even people who have not had depressive symptoms before. It commonly occurs in the winter months when days are short and darker. Usually the weather can trigger winter depression too.


A Winter Snowy Scene - Winter Depression SymptomsIt can just be one symptom or many. The most common symptoms are wanting to sleep more, not wanting to engage with others, feeling in a low mood with little or no energy, eating more or less and feeling agitated. This is not an exhaustive list but reflects some main symptoms. It is interesting to note that these also mirror depression.

These symptoms occur at the winter stages of the year, typically on longer darker days.


In the most extreme of cases it may me necessary to take mild antidepressants, or you can focus on natural antidepressants such as 5-HTP (you can read about 5-HTP here). 5-HTP produces serotonin which is the brains happy juice.

Also, lavender essential oils dabbed onto your pillow can help relax you at bed time. You can also drink herbal teas and reduce your caffeine intake.

Eating healthy and regular exercise helps too, exercise is known to release endorphins into the body.

Vitamin D is an essential addition, we lack this vitamin with the sun being weaker and out less often. Also, Omega 3 fish oils are also a good source essential fatty acids that contain DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) which helps serotonin uptake.

Meditation can help too, focusing on mindfulness can help you realize the good things about winter and what you have in your life. You can buy relaxation sound CD’s or guided meditation books to help you along.

Make sure you sleep enough, try to go to bed at regular times every day.

I would recommend a combination of these to help, and remember to always consult a healthcare professional before taking any medications or herbal remedies.

S.A.D Lamps & Alarms

LED Lightbulb - Winter Depression SymptomsThese lamps are a way of creating a natural daylight in your home. Usually the lamp uses led to create a daylight effect, this then triggers the Melanopsin receptors to release serotonin. A minimum of 2500 lux is needed to trigger this release, most lamps however go up to 10,000 lux. Using these lamps can be beneficial if used throughout the day.

S.A.D Lamps can be expensive but the layout is counteracted by the benefits of using this type of lamp, and also with the lamp using leds the bulbs they last much longer and are cheaper to run than a normal bulb. So this can work out much more cost effective in the long run.

Another effective item is a light alarm clock. These simulate the sunrise by gradually increasing the light, which helps wake you naturally. Many also come with nature sounds that you can use to wake up to or help relax you to fall asleep.

>> Click Here To Read My Review Of The Philips Sunrise Wake Up Light Alarm <<


Winter depression or sad is much more common than we think, millions of us suffer from it. Recognizing the symptoms early enough can mean you can reduce or even remove the symptoms completely. Adjusting your lifestyle to include some of the above suggestions every day, will inevitably help.

It’s important not to get winter depression mixed with depression, if you suffer from any of the symptoms all year round you may just suffer with depression. You can read my earlier article on recognizing depression here.

I hope you found this article informative. Let me know if you suffer with SAD and how you combat it by commenting below. If you have any questions, please ask below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.





  1. Hey Darrin πŸ˜‰
    Very informative and helpful article!

    I can definitely relate to winter depression, during winter time I often have low mood, low energy, little motivation to do something, I sleep a lot and also feel irritated.

    However, I found some things that help me go trough this so called winter depression and feel somewhat positive and energetic. The best cure for depression for me is definitely excercising. I hit the gym and after the workout, I feel like completely new person! I feel very refreshed and ready for the day! And much more positive as well πŸ™‚ The good quality sleep and healthy diet are just as important as excercising πŸ™‚ These are crucial things in my opinion to overcome winter depression and help a person to overcome real depression as well.

    I have found out some new and exciting information after reading Your article, for example- I didn’t know about S.A.D. Lamps. I am very impressed with their ability to produce a natural daylight effect, I can only imagine how beneficial this would be for humans body! This is definitely something that I will consider getting in the future πŸ™‚

    I also didn’t know about light alarm clocks :O That is much, much better alternative to regular alarm clocks that just stress out the body. Light alarm clocks would wake up the body in much more natural way, making waking up process so much more easy and healthier for the body. I am very interested in picking up those as well somewhere later in the future πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work Darrin!!!

    • Thank you very much for your comments and sharing your experience. S.A.D lamps are amazing, I have one on my desk and use it most days. I think light alarm clock are the way to go, they really do help to settle down your sleep cycles. Glad you found my article useful.

  2. Hi Darrin; Thanks for your article. I think that there are a lot of people who suffer from S.A.D without realizing it and would benefit from reading your post. I know for myself, that just a few days of overcast skies and drizzle are enough to affect my mood.
    I used to live in the Arctic where we had 24 hours of darkness during the midwinter months. To save the expense, there were a few of my coworkers and I who pitched-in to buy a S.A.D lamp. We would take turns using it for 10 – 15 minutes in our offices during the morning, which was always the most difficult part of the day. When it was my turn, I would sit with my eyes closed and visualize myself sitting on a tropical beach somewhere. It worked wonders. The only thing missing was the umbrella cocktail πŸ˜‰
    Since my experience with the S.A.D lamp was a few years ago, are there any on the market now that you would recommend?

    • Hi Sonya, thank you very much for sharing your story. I would personally recommend the Naturebright Suntouch Plus, it’s a robust lamp with a good lux value so simulate daylight much better and it’s easier on the eye than many others. It also combines Ion therapy too, so it’s a much better lamp than others.

  3. S.A.D. is such a common disorder but hasn’t been widely recognized as such until pretty recently. I’d never heard about S.A.D. lights but that sounds like a brilliant solution. As far as getting adequate sleep, that’s often a struggle when someone is feeling depressed. You didn’t mention it in your article, but I’ve found melatonin to really help with that. I’m someone who needs a solid 7-8 hours a night to feel my best and can only get around 6 if I’m feeling stressed or depressed. I’ve not heard of 5-HTP but that sounds worth a try as well. Thanks for this informative post which has been very helpful.

    • Hi, Thank you very much for your comments. I have heard of melatonin but not researched it yet, so will take a look at that and update my article, thanks for that heads up! 5-HTP seems to be becoming the latest super natural drug to help. You can read my article on 5-HTP here. I wish you all the best.

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