Seasonal Affective Disorder & How an IFM Company Can Help?

Seasonal Affective Disorder & How an IFM Company Can Help?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Almost everyone knows that one person that has big issues mentally when the season changes. Well, it happens with everyone to a certain degree, but the problem arises when it becomes a real pain in the neck and people start losing office hours just because of it. One cannot just ignore this problem as a passing emotional state. The fact is that it is a very real medical disorder. The one which needs due care.


In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Fall and winter SAD

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

Spring and summer SAD

Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation or anxiety

Seasonal changes in bipolar disorder

In some people with bipolar disorder, spring and summer can bring on symptoms of mania or a less intense form of mania (hypomania), and fall and winter can be a time of depression.

What can professional House Keeping Services do to control it?

Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy. Although we as housekeepers are not doctors but we can actually help a lot in creating a stable workplace environment throughout the year by managing lighting and temperatures inside.

Bio-dynamic Lighting Technology

Biodynamic lighting is an artificial light source that replicates the dynamic variations of daylight and sunlight through a light management system.

Up until recent times, it was believed that light was only needed for seeing. However, in 2001, American scientist, Brainard, discovered a circadian photoreceptor in the retina, that receives a specific quality and quantity of light, which sets the biological clock.*

He discovered that light not only provides us with the ability to see, but that light enters the eye via the ‘fourth pathway’, which has a vital non-visual or biological effect on the human body. His studies show that a certain quantity and quality of light stimulates the biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates hormone levels, particularly melatonin and cortisone in the body. These two hormones are vital for motivation and mood of the humans.

A good IFM company can help its clients setup bio-dynamic lighting. This can help those suffering from SAD and can also help the other employees perk up their productivity.

Biodynamic lighting can also be an extremely cost-effective solution in care homes, hospitals, schools, and office buildings. Bio-Dynamic Lighting Resets the biological clock and puts the human body back in natural rhythm.

Key Points:

•By restoring the biological clock, regulating the 24-hour sleep/wake cycle, especially in older adults or people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, quality of life is enhanced
•Older people are more alert, active and productive throughout the day and sleep better at night
•People with dementia can enjoy more activity during the day and less restlessness, including night wandering, at night
•Pharmaceutical interventions and sleep-inducing drugs can be reduced
•Older people can make the most of life, enjoying more vibrancy and taking part in favorite activities, such as gardening, playing cards, meeting with friends or watching TV.

Significant health benefits

•Helps to maintain healthy bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis
•Enhances visual perception – things appear clearer and brighter, whilst health risks associated with reduced vision, such as falling and tripping, is reduced
•Promotes longer, independent and more fulfilling lives

Once installed, biodynamic lighting is highly energy efficient, reducing your running costs as well as your carbon footprint. Significant savings can also be achieved because biodynamic lighting can:

• Help reduce the need for extra staffing at night in care homes
• Help reduce the need for pharmaceutical interventions and sleep-inducing drugs
• Help promote a more efficient and productive workforce

Source: Mayo Clinic, CLR Curation Team

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