(NEW YORK) -- Those suffering from the winter blues caused by changes in light may find some depression relief in other practices beyond light therapy, according to medical experts.
HealthDay reports that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is caused by fluctuations in ambient light, Dr. Dan Iosifescu, director of the Mount Sinai Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program in New York City, said.
"A gland in our brain provides a time signal, based on the amount of ambient light, to various parts of the body. Like a metronome, the gland responds to signals from light and uses those cues to orchestrate the day/night cycle," Iosifescu said in a Mt. Sinai news release. "Ambient light helps our brain determine when our bodies need to be active mentally and physically and when our bodies need to rest. That cycle is thrown off when the days get shorter and darker."
To help combat the winter blues, Iosifescu recommends using sticking to an exercise routine that can help elevate moods, taking supplements like omega-3 fatty acids that help battle depression, and talking to you doctor. Iosifescu also recommends sticking to a normal sleeping routine as best possible.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio