Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

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Dustin
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Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

Postby Dustin » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

Now it's warming up and I'm finally getting some time off and time to go outside, and I'm feeling better just by walking from home to the campus.

I'm serious: at night, even though I have no financial troubles, really, I feel almost constantly depressed. But just the light itself seems to strip away my worries and feel like strutting.

I know sunlight is good for the production of vitamin D, but isn't it supposed to be vitamin C that's the pick-me-up?

Anyway, I'm going back outside.
Last edited by Dustin on Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:07 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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duckshirt
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Re: Does sunlight make you feel better almost immediately?

Postby duckshirt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:03 am UTC

Sunlight does trigger some kind of hormone thing that wakes you up, so it's not surprising that it would make you feel more energetic, ergo happier. I usually don't feel like waking up in the morning until I open the window.
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Josephine
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Re: Does sunlight make you feel better almost immediately?

Postby Josephine » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:03 am UTC

Hmm. Perhaps it triggers something, but personally, I love the night. And I'm not a fan of sunlight. So it can't be entirely physiological.
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Re: Does sunlight make you feel better almost immediately?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:25 am UTC

It usually makes me sneeze.

Yeah, I definitely get SAD (what a fucking horrid name for a disorder... Seasonal Affect Disorder if you didn't know), and the summers just blur on by.
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Re: Does sunlight make you feel better almost immediately?

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:55 am UTC

I've heard that exposure to direct sunlight is associated with elevated blood levels of cortisol - but don't quote me, I can't remember where I read that. ;)

Cortisol is often referred to as the 'stress hormone.' I imagine a pump of it would perk you up quick. :)

EDIT: I was severely deficient in vitamin D last fall, and sleeping around 14 hours a night. It was the first thing that occured to my doctor, who later had the pleasure of saying "This is the lowest number I've ever seen." What goes on biochemically related to energy that requires vitamin D, I don't really know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were a factor.

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Re: Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

Postby Shro » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:39 pm UTC

No vitamin D means you can't use the calcium you take in properly. Also has some immune-related actions.

I actually did a paper on how some girls may be self medicating SAD with tanning in the winter months. I myself have gone tanning in the winter months (although I'm Indian and don't need it) so I can feel more peppy. I feel as though I have sad, but it has remained undiagnosed because of lack of insurance. I did however get my depression diagnosed, and the recurrence seems to be seasonal, so it should logically follow. Also, weight gain, carb cravings and lethargy are some of the other symptoms.

This advice does not take the place of advice from your doctor, etc. but there are things you can use to combat depression in the winter months.
Bright light therapy. Easy, relatively inexpensive and IT WORKS. Probably just as well as the drugs.
Anti-depressants. These would be my last choice, because they're expensive, etc.
Melatonin supplementation to help get to sleep at a proper time. If you're getting to sleep early, you're waking up earlier, helping with the lethargy.

The winter blues aren't a serious problem, but can become one if it gets severe. It's definitely something you'll want to talk to your doctor about if you have these symptoms, to try and manage them a bit better.

Or, you know... you could go tanning. (I even talked to my dermatologist about it, and he said it was okay. I thought that was kind of silly.)
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reiselaender
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Re: Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

Postby reiselaender » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:40 pm UTC

Very informative. I also make sure that I get Vitamin D from the sun, but I'm not really sure what it is for.

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Re: Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

There was a good program on radio 4 recently about vitamin D. I didn't catch the details because my housemate was fighting somebody at the time (my god do I need a new place to live), but apparently Vitamin D seems to act on the body more like a hormone than a vitamin.
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Re: Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:35 pm UTC

If there's one thing I love about Alaska, it's the endless daylight during the summer. :D
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Re: Does sunlight make YOU feel better almost immediately?

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

Works in theory...
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