A Guide To SAD Light Therapy For Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD can be crippling for those that struggle with the physical and mental health symptoms. Light therapy often proves to helpful for many sufferers. It cannot cure the condition, but it can ease the symptoms.
In this guide to SAD light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorders will will discuss the following factors and devices:
- the importance of a daily session of light for SAD sufferers
- the impact of natural light, different wavelengths and high lux
- wake up lights and sunrise simulation
- therapy lamps and light boxes
- SAD light therapy glasses.
Light therapy is a daily necessity.
The problem of SAD is one that sufferers face everyday. The lack of sunlight, and deficiencies in vitamin D and melatonin, lead to long-term mood and sleep problems. A daily dose of light from a light therapy device can help. This could be any of the devices mentioned below – wake-up light, light boxes, desk lights or glasses.
The most important thing is that it is effective enough, and convenient enough, for daily use. A simple 20-30 minute session is often enough. Users sit the required distance away from the light, enjoy the rays and start their day. Many find this is enough to lift the mood and clear some symptoms for a more positive, productive morning.
The quality of the lamp and its lux.
The effectiveness of these lights will often depend on the quality of the light source within the lamp. Some uses bulbs, while others use LEDs. LEDs are less likely to suffer from flickers and they are also longer lasting. It is also important to remember that different devices use different wavelengths of light. Some are full spectrum white lights, others focus more on blue tones.
There are warnings with some blue lights that migraine sufferers may not be able to use them. Then there is the lux. This is the strength of the light, and therefore its potential to help. The recommendation is for a 10,000 lux device for SAD light boxes in the home. This is pretty standard in medically certified devices. Some lamps, like wake up lights, will be softer.
A wake-up light offers a pleasant way for SAD sufferers to start the day.
The first of these devices for SAD light therapy for Seasonal affective disorders is the wake-up light. Wake-up lights are a popular choice for busy people that struggle to get up in the morning. They replace a typical alarm clock with one that brings a pleasing light source to the room.
Sunrise simulations take this light from deep reds to bright whites and help users wake up more naturally. This is helpful for those early risers that go to work when it is still dark. Some of these devices also use natural sounds to add to the experience.
Perhaps a SAD light box would be more suitable for daily use.
More traditional light therapy boxes and lamps have a simple while light, some intensity settings and a pleasing shape. Users can place this in the most convenient area of the home, sit by it for around 20 minutes and carry on with their day – some have stands and can be angled for the best coverage. Some are light and portable for use in the office.
Then there are light therapy glasses.
This wearable teach goes over the eyes, or a pair of normal glasses, and provides a direct source of light as users go about their day. They best are safe to use and don’t impede the user’s vision.
They have a much lower lux because of the proximity to the eyes. Results and opinion on this approach varies. Some like the chance to work and move around as they get their therapy, but many like to stick with the more convenient lamps.
SAD light therapy for Seasonal affective disorders can really help – just be careful to choose the right approach.
The right device will often depend on the habits and needs of the user. Those in a hurry may like the sound of more portable devices, such as those glasses.
Those that are more leisurely can take their time with a larger SAD light box. The important thing is that the light has the right lux and spectrum for positive effects. If it hurts, stop using it. If it helps, use it every morning for a brighter, more positive experience.