gray skies of winter

Winter. It can depressing. For some. Ever heard of low vitamin D?

Why? Because there’s not as much sunlight. In some regions, it’s much worse than others. The lack of sunlight affects us.

December 21 (solstice) is typically the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. The months approaching it, and the months following are majority filled with darkness rather than sunlight.

Where I live, during the shortest day of the year, sunrise is 7:18 AM and sunset is 4:09 PM according to suncalc.org. That’s only about 8 hours of sunlight with 16 hours of darkness!

Wait, it gets worse… some regions tend to be cloudy a-lot. I live in a mountainous region. Climate conditions often produce clouds, especially during the winter months. And how about the Pacific Northwest? Lots of gray skies, right?

During the seemingly rare days during winter when the sun comes out, it feels wonderful! Why is that?

There’s something about sunlight that our bodies crave. Need.

One thing I know, is sunlight on our skin produces Vitamin D. And I’ve read many reports that indicate most Americans, especially those living in the north – and during winter – are lacking (and severely lacking) in Vitamin D. Surprised? Not me…

Here’s an interesting resource:
Harvard School Of Public Health | Vitamin D

I’ve also read that Mayo Clinic estimates 25%-50% of the general population may be vitamin D deficient.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a dreary winter with its skies often looking like a flat gray sheet of metal, can be sad. Actually, “they” do have a name for that… Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Yes I know — they have a disorder for everything. But you instinctively know this one is true.

Some people fall into a general depression. Anxiety. Sadness. It depends…

What can you do about the winter blues?

I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist. However I can offer some sensible advice.

Get Outside When It’s Sunny

When the sun does come out, and there’s actually a mostly blue sky day, take advantage of it! GO OUTSIDE! Let your face and body absorb those wonderful rays of sunshine. It WILL lift your spirits.

While at work, get outside for a bit during your lunch break. Take a walk.

Open all the shades and curtains. Let that sun in.

Vitamin D Supplement

Another thing you can do, and my own doctor recommended it (my Vitamin D levels were on the low side), is take a Vitamin D supplement.

I’m taking a 2,000 IU Vitamin D3 softgel tablet twice a day during the winter.

NatureWise Vitamin D3
(view on amzn)

2,000 IU vitamin D3

“The Vitamin D Council recommends that adults with minimal sun exposure take 5,000 IU of D3 daily to reach optimal levels. This recommendation is based on research that shows that 97% of people will attain levels above 30 ng/ml at this dose, without risk of toxicity.”

~ naturewise vitamins

5,000 IU tablets. One of the most popular and best reviewed is by Schwartz, made in the USA.
(view on amzn)

What’s the “3” in Vitamin D-3?

Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D that is synthesized by the skin when exposed to the sun ( ultraviolet light/UVB).

The Best Thing For Low Vitamin D

Go to Florida during the winter!!

Continue reading: Vitamin C – Fruits & Vegetables