Seasonal fatigue: Has anyone else experienced an... - Headway


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Seasonal fatigue


Has anyone else experienced an marked increase in fatigue levels since the clocks went back and the seasonal weather change?

Not feeling like I have S.A.D symptoms which is great but the little energy I did have during the day has deleted even more 🙄 and thats always going to be mire challenging to keeping positive and happy.

Thinking maybe a SAD light might help, anyone?

Many blessings to you and our community x

16 Replies

Hi, yes I have! I take more vitamin d during winter months and make sure I take brisk walks in the daytime. Have been thinking of buying a SAD lamp too, just to optimise energy and well being. I'm not sure yet which one. I lived in Sweden where a lot of people use them. Then again, with virtually no light and darkness 24/7 during mid-winter they're essential! x

Hi. I have done a lot of research on this. I have severe physical and cognitive fatigue that has been a constant since my brain injury almost five years ago. I don't have S.A.D. but after I read up on scientific research that has found that using a blue light therapy lamp, (rather than the normal lamp for S.A.D.) has been shown to help people with brain injuries I bought one. It can help with sleep, fatigue, mood, concentration and several other things. It definitely has helped me a lot. I use it in the mornings as soon as I wake and sometimes to boost me I also use it at lunchtime. I am using the blue light therapy lamp sold by I would highly recommend it. No side effects and no medication! It's portable so I can take it out with me if I need to.

Would love to hear what you experience if you do get a lamp.

If you only want to address the S.A.D. aspect, there are lots of light therapy lamps available, but the blue light lamps are harder to find and more expensive.


I felt I've struggled more than usual with the hour going back - but put it down to the changes in my meal and break times - I was skipping breaks because I felt ok, then crashing out later in the day, or getting headaches.

I have a cheap SAD lamp on the desk next to me as I type this message. I use it all year round, to encourage better sleep, so it isn't a "seasonal" thing for me. I can't attest to how effective they are for raising mood, but I will say that with an injured brain, you will feel a lot more tired, generally speaking. Science supports their use, but I wouldn't expect a huge difference by using one as there are lots of things that you can do to raise mood.

If you have left hemisphere damage, your mood will be more likely to have been affected by your injury.


Hi Leo. Gosh, that's really interesting. I have left hemisphere damage and I'm also bipolar. I hadn't thought of trying a SAD lamp. The brain injuries left me quite blind & I have been meaning to get a lamp to help me with my university studies. I note you say that you have a cheap SAD lamp, which, as a student ticks all my boxes! Might you know the supplier of your lamp? Kindest good regards, Paul

Hi Paul, I ordered it from Amazon a few years ago, but the item isn't available any more. Although, there are many others like it when you search for "sad lamp" on there now. However, they cost quite a bit more than I think that I paid.

If you want to learn more about the differences between hemisphere's, Iain Mcgilchrist's masterpiece "Master and His Emissary" is one of the best and most ambitious books that I have ever read. It's about a decade old now, but it took him 20 years to write!

Good luck with your studying, my TBI occurred half way through my degree, so I know how hard it is with a brain injury at university (even with all the support like I received.)

Thanks SO much for your reply. And thanks too for the book recommendation; my partner has been asking me what I want for Christmas, and you have supplied the answer I was looking for! Take care, Paul

It's nice to feel useful, so thank you! I must forewarn you though, it is definitely not a book that you can lightly flick through. there's a bit of science, psychiatry, philosophy, history, anthropology and a study of the human condition in it, so it gets pretty heavy going at some points. My advice is to stick with it, as it is very rewarding


Thanks Leo I'll give it a go over Christmas and let you know how I get on. All the best, Paul

Absolutely, for myself though, there is good reason, my Vestibular system is foobar so I rely on light for balance, so dealing with dark, causes a increase in cognitive load.

Luckily? This year I’m much less on the buses etc so less pronounced.

I know there's no cure as such just things to improve the symptoms, but I have come off all but two medications, I am active, a father, retired lifestyle and lots more besides, but after 4 years of this fatigue is getting worse!I'm after anything to aid this so that I can go back to working.

Vitamin D is a good call but I'm already taking supplements, have a super healthy diet, have a strict daily routine to assist the circadian rhythm, practice meditation which has obliterated stress chemicals and still it beats me to nap 3-4 times a day.

Starting to sound like a cry for help, sorry but is there anything else I can throw into the mix?

Bought a SAD light just now but I dont even know where best to have it 🤔

Thanks for your comments...keep'em coming

Fificakes2 in reply to Driad

I think that you’re doing all the best things to deal with fatigue. Is it possible that you are noticing your fatigue more and learning to balance your energy by doing less? Sometimes when it’s the beginning of recovery from an accident you think you’re much better and stronger than is really true because it’s hard to understand the changes properly.

I’ve got a bit muddled, but 4 years is when I really got used to things and in some ways I felt worse.

Also, stress is tiring and we’re in the middle of a pandemic which brings lots of extra strain on everybody and will add to your fatigue.

Good luck with getting back to work.

Driad in reply to Fificakes2

All very good points 🤔 thanks.

Fificakes2 in reply to Driad

You’re welcome and I hope you’re feeling stronger soon. It’s horrible time of year.

Definitely. The changes in daylight saving hours, does cause increased fatigue. It’s not depression really. Just takes me a little while to adjust to. Then all is ok.

Hi Driad, just a thought, have you ever established what your baseline activity level is - this is what you can do on a bad day without making yourself tired. ( I found out that mine was way lower than I thought. )

If you feel more fatigued at the moment, perhaps have a day or so at a baseline activity level - and then start increasing your activity by about half an hour a day?

You need the activity so that you don't decondition and make your fatigue worse though - it's such a tightrope😱. ( And I'm not saying I get it right - but usually notice that if I have a quieter couple of days that I have more energy afterwards)

There are some useful resources on the web for CFS/ ME that work for us as well.

Do you take hourly timeout breaks? My psychologist suggested also setting alarms for breaks at set times mid morning and mid afternoon, and then about an hour before supper. A morning break of 30 minutes nidra yoga/ mindfulness body balance practice (it's the same thing 😊) makes a huge difference to my day.

Perhaps experiment around a bit, and try and have a bit of a reset? Good luck and lots of sympathy if you've already tried all this already 😊🌸

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