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Seasonal Affective Disorder – Using Light Therapy

April 23rd, 2009 · No Comments · Lighting Tips

During the winter season many of us complain about having the winter blues, but for some people this complaint is in reality a mood disorder known as Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  People with this condition have normal mental health throughout the majority of the year but experience severe depressive symptoms in the winter and fall months as the days become shorter.  Symptoms include excessive sleeping, lack of energy, and cravings for sweets and starchy foods.

SAD and the depression associated with it are believed to be related to light, or the lack of exposure to light.  Light therapy is a common treatment for SAD.  It is a simple non-medicated way to treat the condition, all one needs to do is either sit or work by a Light Box that gives off a bright light mimicking natural sunlight.  Most therapy literature suggests a light brightness of 10,000 LUX.

The theory behind light therapy is that the bright light suppresses the natural release of melatonin and alters your circadian rhythms.  Below are some examples of current light therapy products on the market.  As with any health issue it is wise to seek medical attention before starting any form of therapy.

SAD Therapy 1SAD Therapy 2SAD Therapy 3SAD Therapy 4

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