The Hemp Connection + women's health

Get Some Sunshine In!

We've just passed the winter solstice, which means for those of us north of the equator, we're at our darkest. It's easy to want to hunker down, stay inside, and eat comfort food. But if you're prone to carbohydrate cravings and depression this time of year, a little bit of proactive choosing can help you to avoid weight gain and hormone imbalances that are common this time of year.

Even if you live in a warm climate like Los Angeles, or Phoenix, like I do, winter has profound effects on how you feel. In Los Angeles, because it sits so close to the border of the time zone, days end very early. On New Year's Day, the sun will set over LA at 4:54 PM! For those of you who like to exercise after work, this makes it hard to get out in the sun.

Every little bit of sunlight you get helps to keep your internal clock set, and helps to keep your body from converting too much serotonin to melatonin. Normally melatonin levels are high when we're supposed to be sleeping, but in the winter, especially in our modern culture, we're awake and aware that our serotonin levels are low. It's that drop in serotonin that provokes carbohydrate cravings, promotes depression, and makes us sluggish, not wanting to get out and be active.

If you can walk an errand in the middle of the day, if you can move your favorite reading chair to the window, if you can move your workout to the outdoors from the gym, all of those things can add up to help reduce the effects of melatonin.

If you're in Anchorage, where the sun is currently setting at just before 4 pm, or if you're stuck inside in LA because of the torrential rain, consider an ultraviolet light box. It's a contraption that helps to generate outdoor light indoors, that can be set up near your reading chair or desk. There are portable travel versions for anyone reading this whose sleep patterns and melatonin levels are chronically out of balance because of the demands of their job. Here is an example of a device I found on the Internet.

It's important to understand that melatonin imbalances are becoming recognized as triggers for other hormone imbalances, and can affect the severity of your PCOS.

Enjoy the video, I thought it might inspire you to get outside and let some sun shine into your life!

food, healthy lifestyle, melatonin, serotonin, ultraviolet light, and more:

Get Some Sunshine In! + women's health