Norway darkness no hinder to joy / News / The Foreigner

Norway darkness no hinder to joy. Norwegians might be happier than most in winter months, though humans themselves can also do things to prevent gloom. Tromsø is a place so far north that the sun does not rise at all between late November and late January. 200 miles past the Arctic Circle, the northern Norway region experiences what is called ‘Polar Night’ during the wintertime.

sad, winter, depression, sunlight, vitamind, travel, snow, light, holidays, paywall



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Norway darkness no hinder to joy

Published on Wednesday, 16th November, 2016 at 15:52 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 16th November 2016 at 16:04.

Norwegians might be happier than most in winter months, though humans themselves can also do things to prevent gloom.

Northern Lights, Tromsø
Northern Lights, Tromsø
Photo: Gunnar Hildonen/Flickr


Tromsø is a place so far north that the sun does not rise at all between late November and late January.

200 miles past the Arctic Circle, the northern Norway region experiences what is called ‘Polar Night’ during the wintertime.

While little daylight normally gives rise to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), researchers have discovered that inhabitants can manage to shrug this off.

They draw their conclusions after having studied the mental health of residents there.

Enjoy, don’t endure

“In Tromsø, the prevailing sentiment is that winter is something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured,” American researcher Kari Leibowitz wrote in her article in The Atlantic.

The region is also known for skiing and other outdoor wintertime possibilities such as reindeer sledding, the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), and other lighting conditions.

“Even during the darkest times, there are still two or three hours of light a day as the sun skirts just below the horizon, never fully rising. During the longer “days” of the Polar Night, in November and January, the skies can be filled with up to six hours of sunrise and sunset-like colours,” stated Ms Leibowitz.

Candles, which create a cosy and convivial atmosphere and relaxing at home with others, rather than alone, are also popular and beneficial.

All in the head

A Norwegian study published in the BMC Psychiatry Journal has shown that mental distress is not particularly more prevalent in winter than other during other seasons.

Researchers who conducted a US-based inquiry, published in Clinical Psychological Science, concluded the same.

Moreover, a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that alertness, emotional state, and melatonin levels do not vary with the seasons, mostly.

And mental function can actually be enhanced in winter, according to earlier research by University of Tromsø researchers published in the Applied Cognitive Psychology Journal.

No need to be SAD

If you’re not the type to live and sleep amongst wolves or to go king crab fishing, help is at hand for the dark time of year in Norway.

Treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) include light therapy. This is a method using a specific type of lamp – known as a ‘light therapy box’ – to help stimulate exposure to sunlight.

It radiates a bright light that mimics natural outdoor light (so-termed daylight bulbs and/or daylight lamps may also be available for purchase in the shops).

According to America’s Mayo Clinic, the therapy box is ‘thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms.”

“Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions,” they say.

Pills and planes

Other measures of dealing with SAD include changing your lifestyle by trying to get as much natural sunlight as possible and managing stress levels, or taking Vitamin D.

Escaping to the sunlight can also help, supported by a recent study showing that people are likely to feel positive by spending more time in the sun.

Cell and bone growth, as well as immune system building are promoted when skin is exposed to sunlight.

People who remain indoors can become deficient in vitamin D, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

The Canary Islands are an extremely popular destination with Norwegians. Tour operators transport hundreds of thousands each year.




Published on Wednesday, 16th November, 2016 at 15:52 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 16th November 2016 at 16:04.

This post has the following tags: sad, winter, depression, sunlight, vitamind, travel, snow, light, holidays, paywall.





  
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