Just like that, autumn has arrived here in northern Nevada. Crisp mornings, chilly nights, even the first snow on Mount Rose are all signs that the season is shifting, and shorter days are just ahead. But for some people, this time of year is about something else — the seasonal depression that comes with fewer hours of sunlight. But infrared sauna may help. Here’s why infrared sauna is even better in autumn, and where you can book a session in Reno.
Understanding Seasonal Depression
Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), typically affects people in the fall and winter seasons. Some 10 million Americans are estimated to experience SAD, and another 10 to 20 percent have milder cases.
Fewer daylight hours can affect circadian rhythm in the body. This system doesn’t just control our wake and sleep cycle, but daily fluctuations in our body temperature, digestion, hunger, and metabolism. It also affects memory consolidation, hormone secretion timing, and the healing process. When our circadian rhythm is altered or irregular, it affects melatonin production and negatively impacts our ability to sleep and function. That can lead to mood disorders, including SAD. Serotonin, i.e. the happiness hormone, can also affected by the reduction in sunlight.
These changes can lead to various symptoms, including:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or depressed
- Appetite changes, including carbohydrate cravings
- Sleep pattern changes, including oversleeping
- Drop in energy
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Difficulty concentrating
How Infrared Sauna Can Help
Research confirms various benefits of sessions in the sauna, including a calming of the body and mind. But new studies are looking at psychological health benefits are well, particularly for people who experience depression and mild to moderate anxiety. It’s possible that the heat of the infrared sauna activates cells in the brain that release seratonin.
Since many people who experience SAD and other depressive disorders have reduced levels of this important neurotransmitter, infrared sauna can be an option worth exploring. Sessions in an infrared sauna can also stimulate the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are strongly linked to feelings of contentment and peace.
Another benefit of infrared sauna is its effect on sleep. As part of an evening routine, it can help improve sleep quality by supporting your sleep drive and promoting deep relaxation. Relaxation itself helps lower cortisol level, reducing stress and anxiety.
At Boost here in Reno, our infrared sauna includes chromotherapy, or color therapy. This is the science of using colors that help adjust body vibrations to specific frequencies to improve health and a sense of harmony. Different vibrations are linked to physical symptoms. For example, green light is a universal healing color that helps to cleanse, balance energy, and relax muscles and nerves. Red light can promote healing and boost energy.
If you’ve experienced seasonal depression in the past, book a session in the infrared sauna here at Boost and see how it helps. It could be just what you need to better manage the seasonal change.