It’s official – the days are getting longer. About two minutes per day to be exact. The winter solstice has been and gone, and we got through the End of Financial Year. Before we get stuck into Q3, now is a great time to pause and reflect. Over the past six months New Year’s resolutions have been made, and in my case, definitely broken. So let’s take a moment and think back over previous Wellness Matters articles that resonated and got us thinking about how to better ourselves. Why not block 15 minutes out of your next lunch break to reflect on your past 6 months and write down some updated goals for the rest of the year?
Whilst we’re thinking about the future, how nice is it to finally be on the home stretch to spring sunshine?! Our vitamin D levels can drop dramatically over the colder months, and the weather can make bouts of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) more common. Although there are still levels of skepticism around the validity of SAD, there is definitely a case to be made that moods can make us more susceptible to downturns when our melatonin levels vary. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by our brains that helps regulate sleep. It also signals our body when our circadian rhythm anticipates the best time to turn in. The change in light between winter and summer can cue earlier signals to be sent, which can put us out of our natural rhythm and create sleep disturbances. This imbalance can have side effects such as low-level depression and insomnia.
While there are supplements you can take, we have found a few foods that are naturally high in melatonin. Why not try some of them to help boost your levels during those cold winter days? Or just make them a regular part of your diet to maintain steady levels of melatonin all year round. Corn, broccoli, rolled oats and walnuts are all great melatonin foods. There are also a number of other minerals and amino acids that can help. Dairy products and seafood are high in tryptophan, and leafy greens and bananas are full of magnesium. This is just a starting point for you to mix and match your flavour preferences for the best sleep and balanced diet. So kick the SADs and welcome the sunshine back!
As always, please let me know if there are any particular topics or benefits that you would love us to look into, or if you have any queries or concerns.
You can call me on 03 9963 4821 or email me directly.
– Ben Giltrap