Winter is coming, so be sure and get outdoors every day for at least 20 minutes to build vitamin D stores.
Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD
SAD can also exasperate PMS. If you live in northern latitudes, upper United States, Canada, UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland or get depressed in the winter months, you may be suffering from SAD. It is thought that the biological clock hormone known as melatonin may be the culprit due to its production during darkness. Melatonin helps a person feel sleepy when it's dark, your body's way of telling you it's time to go to sleep. Daylight seems to limit its production. People with SAD have been shown to produce more melatonin than people who don't suffer, so it's important to get natural sunlight during the winter. On a nutritional note, vitamin D production is also tied to sunlight. If you do not get at least 15-20 minutes a day of sunlight on your skin, vitamin D may be needed as a supplement. Estimates of Vitamin D stored in the liver can be used up over a long winter or in about 3 months. Vitamin D is necessary in the absorption of calcium, an important mineral in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body as well as bone health. Calcium has also been shown to improve PMS symptoms. People with SAD who live in the northern USA will begin to show symptoms as early as late September. Special lamps and light bulbs can be purchased easily. For more information about Seasonal Effective Disorder, please see the following NIH Med-line link.