A mental health expert says the wintertime depression and weight gain that many people experience in Iowa and other northern latitudes may be tied to something like hibernation. Psychiatrist Darren Granson says people aren’t bears, but sometimes we act a little like them.Dr. Granson says “They oftentimes will get hypersomnia; people sleep too much, they’re tired, they might have carbohydrate cravings. So some people tend to put on some weight. So it’s kind of like a state of hibernation.” Granson says the best way to fight what’s commonly called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S-A-D, is to get out in the sun. Granson says Iowans who feel depressed, tired and hungry during the gloomy winter months might benefit from more sunlight, or at least time under a special light.Granson says “One of the things is to be outside, be in the light as much as possible but obviously the days are so short it becomes very difficult. I suggest, for those people with significant symptoms, that they — if their schedule and budget allows, go ahead and invest in a full-spectrum light.” He says such a light can be purchased for as little as 150-dollars, or upwards of 500.
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