Discuss the effect of the environment (light) on one seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

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Discuss the effect of the environment (light) on one physiological process.

I am going to discuss the effect that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has on the physiological process of the production of the hormone melatonin and its importance of its levels for the sustainability of bodily rhythms.

        SAD is a disorder which mainly causes depression. It is a disorder which is caused by seasons and the change in light in these seasons, making it a circannual rhythm. There are two different types of SAD - summer and winter (Boyce and Parker 1988). People who suffer from winter SAD have a longing for carbohydrates, gain weight and oversleep as well as severe depression. Furthermore, people with summer SAD lose appetite and weight and insomnia , again as well as depression.

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        Melatonin, produced in the pineal gland effects mood and energy levels (For example melatonin produces serotonin which causes sleep) and is suggested by research to be the cause of this disorder. It is produced most in the dark so production is therefore controlled by light stimulation to the eyes. It has been suggested that winter SAD is caused by too much melatonin production in the winter months due to earlier and later ending production of the hormone, because it is dark for more time in the winter.

        Inextricably linked the SAD is the amounts of light in ones environment, this ...

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