The temperatures are rising and summer is approaching and you may be wondering, “what are the summer uses for bright light therapy?” We at Alaska Northern Lights have the answers. While bright light therapy is generally used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) there are many more reasons to use bright light therapy when winter goes into hibernation.
There is substantial medical evidence supporting the treatment of other forms of depression such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and postpartum (post pregnancy) depression using bright light therapy. Studies have shown that bright light therapy affects the production of melatonin in the body. It is this hormone that is believed to reduce or prevent symptoms of depression. Because bright light therapy is safe for women to use during pregnancy there are currently three studies underway to evaluate how it can help ante partum depression (depression during pregnancy).
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders are disorders that affect your natural sleep/wake cycles. People who suffer from a circadian rhythm sleep disorder are unable to fall asleep and wake up at times required for normal work or school hours. To put it simply, their body clocks aren’t synchronized with the rest of the worlds. They fall asleep after everyone else does and they wake up way after everyone else too (or vice versa). Bright light therapy can help regularize a person’s circadian rhythm because the body depends on light (or darkness) to know when it should be waking up or when it should be sleeping. Light in the morning will move the sleep/wake clock earlier, while light at night will shift the clock later – depending on how you need to adjust your clock. The production of melatonin as mentioned before is also responsible for regulating sleep patterns. This form of bright light therapy can also be used to help people who are suffering from jet lag (hello, fun summer vacation in Europe!) or those who work night shifts and need to be awake while everyone else is sleeping.
Now that summer is nearly here, don’t waste time dealing with depression or lethargy…get a light box from Alaska northern Lights and get out there to enjoy your summer!