Winter blues warning as daylight hours diminish
With winter fast approaching and our hours of daylight getting shorter, Brits are being urged to take a supplement of sunshine Vitamin D – especially those north of the border.
The Department of Health recommends taking a supplement during autumn and winter when sunlight hours are limited and our bodies are unable to make enough of the vitamin which is essential for healthy bones and general wellbeing.
Those over 60 are particularly vulnerable to the ‘winter blues’ as well as those who happen to live in the north of England or in Scotland where daylight hours are most limited.
With average sunlight dropping to less than six hours in some parts of UK experts at Innopure.com say that upping your dose of vitamins D and K can give you the boost you need to get you through the dark winter.
The further north you travel the less daylight hours there are with people living in Scotland getting almost two hours less sun than those living in Cornwall during the colder months.
On the shortest day of this year, 21st December, Land’s End will enjoy over eight hours of sunlight yet at the northern tip of the UK in Lerwick on the Shetland Islands, there will be only five hours 49 minutes.
Sunrise and sunset on 21st December 2017
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Londoners will travel to and from work in the dark with seven hours 49 minutes of sunlight. Other major cities are even worse off with Birmingham expecting just seven hours 39 minutes, Leeds seven hours 24 minutes, Manchester seven hours 28 minutes and Newcastle-upon-Tyne seven hours ten minutes.
But it’s people living in Scotland who will feel the effects of a lack of sunlight more than anyone else. Glasgow and Edinburgh can expect just six hours 58 and 6 hours 57 respectively on the shortest day, and Aberdeen six hours 40.
A lack of vitamin D can leave you feeling tired, unable to think clearly and it can cause bone pain and muscle weakness. A severe deficiency in children can lead to rickets.
The best source of vitamin D is direct sunlight, but from October to March, when the average hours of sunlight drops, levels of the vitamin in your body fall.
It can be found in some foods, among them oily fish, red meat, liver, eggs and some fortified foods including breakfast cereal.
A spokesperson for Innopure.com, said: “A lot of people hate the winter and dread the long, cold, dark days. Vitamin D is important for our general well-being and when you’re not getting enough it can leave you feeling tired and groggy, as well as having the potential to cause some long-term problems.
“There are things you can do to boost your vitamin D naturally. Eating the right foods is a good place to start as is making the most of any sunny days and hours there are.
“It’s still unlikely you’ll get the required dose during the winter so taking a supplement daily is the obvious solution. If it goes someway to helping beat the winter blues and improving overall health during hr chilly months, then that has to be a good thing.”