Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help! 寒冬惹人愁 “自然”解心憂

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard

The dreary days of winter are here, when sunlight is in short supply and nights are long and cold. Millions of Americans realize they don’t feel as chipper as usual, and may be downright depressed. If you're one of them, you may be suffering from “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD.陰郁的冬季已經到來,日照不足,長夜漫漫,寒意逼人。數以百萬計的美國人發覺心情不再爽朗,甚至會徹底萎靡不振。如果你也是其中一員,那就有可能患上了“季節性情感障礙”(SAD)。

 

SAD depression is caused by lowered levels of serotonin, the mood-affecting brain chemical that is triggered by seasonal changes in daylight. Shorter days may also disrupt the body’s biological clock—circadian rhythm—which upsets the balance of melatonin, the hormone which regulates mood and sleep patterns.

SAD由血清素水平降低所誘發,大腦中的這種化學物質能夠左右情緒,其分泌受到季節性光照變化的影響。白晝變短同樣會擾亂人體生物鍾——又稱晝夜節律,繼而導致褪黑素(調節情緒和睡眠規律的荷爾蒙)分泌失衡。

Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help!  寒冬惹人愁  “自然”解心憂-華夏娛樂360
Although SAD is often confused with other problems, such as regular non-seasonal depression, people with SAD usually suffer their worst symptoms during winter and improve when spring arrives. SAD symptoms are the same as those for regular depression, and they include excessive fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, body aches and pains, and a loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy.

雖然季節性情感障礙經常容易與其他病症混淆,例如常見的非季節性抑郁症,但季節性情感障礙患者通常在冬季症狀最爲嚴重,春季來臨之時即可緩解。季節性情感障礙的症狀與常見的抑郁症一模一樣,包括感覺筋疲力盡,難以集中精力,睡眠出現問題,身體疼痛不適,對平時喜歡的活動興致全無,等等。

 

Try these easy, natural ways to fight SAD:

想戰勝SAD?那就試試下列簡單的“自然之道”:

Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help!  寒冬惹人愁  “自然”解心憂-華夏娛樂360
Take extra vitamin D. The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunshine, but numerous studies show that many Americans are deficient in vitamin D even during sunny months. Levels fall even lower as fall and winter approach.

額外補充維生素D。當陽光照射皮膚時,人體即會産生維生素D。但大量研究證明,許多美國人即便在陽光充足的月份裏,也會缺乏維生素D。而秋冬兩季來臨時,維生素D 缺乏情況變得更爲嚴重。

 

“The best natural method is to maintain optimal vitamin D levels throughout the year,” says board-certified family practitioner David Brown-stein, M. D. “The key is to not let vitamin D levels fall before beginning fall and winter supplementation,” he tells Newsmax Health.

具有執業資格的全科醫生戴維·布朗斯坦表示:“最佳的自然療法就是全年保持理想的維生素D 水平。”他告訴美國健康醫療指南網站:“關鍵在于秋冬季開始進補之前不讓維生素D 水平下降。”

 

Researchers at the University of Georgia analyzed more than 100 articles that examined the link between vitamin D and depression. Researchers found that a lack of vitamin D appeared to be a major factor in the development of SAD.

喬治亞大學的研究人員分析了100 多份探討維生素D 與抑郁症之間聯系的論文, 並發現缺乏維生素D 似乎是導致季節性情感障礙的一個主要誘因。

 

Vitamin D is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine(chemicals associated with depression), so researchers concluded that a link between low vitamin D levels and depression was logical. The Vitamin D Council recommends 2,000 IU daily, but suggests taking more if you get little exposure to the sun.

維生素D 對于合成血清素和多巴胺(兩者都是與抑郁症有關的化學物質)不可或缺。所以研究人員得出結論: 如果維生素D 水平較低,就會産生抑郁,這種解釋合乎邏輯。維生素D 委員會建議每天補充2000 國際單位的維生素D, 如果不常曬太陽,則應補充更多。

Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help!  寒冬惹人愁  “自然”解心憂-華夏娛樂360
Get more light. Most researchers agree that the people who fall victim to SAD most often are particularly sensitive to the lack of light. Although any amount of outdoor light can help raise serotonin levels, getting light in the morning seems to offer the most benefit.

多接觸光線。大部分研究人員都認爲,對光線不足特別敏感的人最容易患上季節性情感障礙。盡管任何數量的戶外光線都有助于提升血清素水平,但在清晨享受陽光似乎效果最佳。

 

If the weather permits, take a walk. In your home or office, try sitting close to a window that faces south.

如果天氣條件允許, 多外出散步。在家裏和辦公室, 盡量坐在朝南的窗戶旁邊。

 

Replacing light bulbs in your home with full spectrum light bulbs can help because they emit light similar to sunlight. Or you can buy a light box that delivers light that mimics sunlight. “Exposure to full spectrum lighting for 30 minutes to one hour per day can help many patients,” says Dr. Brown-stein. Light boxes can be purchased for around $200.

把家裏的電燈泡換成全光譜燈泡會大有益處,因爲全光譜燈泡發出的光和太陽光相似。或者購買一個能夠模擬太陽光的燈箱。布朗斯坦博士表示:“每天接受30 分鍾到1 小時的全譜光線照射,對許多病人療效甚佳。”燈箱的售價在200 美元左右。

 

Do NOT use sun lamps or tanning beds for self-treatment—they use UV light for tanning, while light boxes use full-spectrum light that simulates daylight.

不要使用日光燈或者日光浴床進行自我治療——二者用紫外線燈把皮膚曬成褐色,而燈箱使用的是模擬太陽光的全譜光線。

Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help!  寒冬惹人愁  “自然”解心憂-華夏娛樂360
Increase exercise. Although exercising may be about the last thing you want to do and would rather curl up with a book or watch a DVD, studies have shown that upping your exercise routine can counteract SAD. Exercise raises levels of serotonin and also increases levels of endorphins, which are responsible for “runner’s high” and have been shown to fight depression.

多做運動。雖然你有可能最不想做運動,甯願蜷在沙發上看書或欣賞DVD, 然而研究表明,平時多運動可以避免患上季節性情感障礙。因爲運動可以提升血清素和內啡肽水平,兩者都能使人産生“跑步者的愉悅感”,並已得到證實可以對抗抑郁症。

 

Dr. Brownstein advises exercising at least 20 minutes a day at least three times a week. Any type of exercise offers benefits. “The benefits are also long lasting,” he says. “The longer you do it, the more benefit you'll get.”

布朗斯坦博士建議每天至少鍛煉20 分鍾,每周最少3 次。任何鍛煉方式都會帶來益處。他表示:“人們可以終身受益。堅持鍛煉時間越長,益處越大。”

Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help!  寒冬惹人愁  “自然”解心憂-華夏娛樂360
Eat more fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, contain omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have found that people who have low levels of two chemicals found in fish, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are at increased risk for depression. Either eat more fish—at least three times a week—or take fish oil capsules to combat SAD.

多食用魚類。富含脂肪的魚類,比如鲑魚和沙丁魚,包含奧米伽-3脂肪酸。研究表明,人體如果缺乏魚肉所富含的兩種化學物質:二十碳五烯酸(EPA)和二十二碳六烯酸(DHA),患上抑郁症的風險將大增。應對SAD 之策就是多吃魚,每周至少3次,或者服用魚油膠囊。

Dark Winter Days Got You Down. Here’s Natural Help!  寒冬惹人愁  “自然”解心憂-華夏娛樂360
Try St. John's wort. Use of this herb as medicine dates to the ancient Greeks, and it has been used for centuries to treat depression. “The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent, non-profit healthcare study group, found St. John’s wort compares favorably to SSRIs and older tricyclic medications in patients with major depression,” says Dr. Brownstein. “In addition, St. John’s wort was found to have 75 percent fewer side effects than standard medications used to treat depression.”試試聖約翰草(貫葉連翹)。這種草本植物入藥的曆史可以追溯至古希臘時期。許多個世紀以來,一直被用來治療抑郁症。布朗斯坦博士表示:“獨立的非營利性健康研究組織科克倫協作網發現,對重度抑郁患者而言,聖約翰草的療效要好于選擇性血清素再吸收抑制劑(SSRI)和更老式的三環類抗抑郁藥。此外,使用聖約翰草治療抑郁症,副作用要比使用標准藥物少75%。