Ever wonder why you feel off during the winter season? You binge on food and feel like sleeping all the time. The wimpy-jumpy-and-hypersensitive you take over and you lack the energy and enthusiasm to do things – even getting in the sack! SAD light just might be the happy solution for your problem.
You’re not going bonkers. These manifestations imply that you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly known as seasonal or winter blues. Decrease in light exposure affects the production of hormones called melatonin and cortisol, which are responsible for a lot of physiologic and psychological process. One of the most important is the Circadian rhythm or your internal body clock. Circadian rhythm regulates your sleep and wake pattern, ensuring you have enough energy in the morning to accomplish your activities and ample rest at night for you to recharge your weary body. If your internal clock is out of sync, it may lead to sleep disorders, depression and other illnesses.
Research found that sunlight is significant to the regulation of these hormones. Since ample sunlight is not available year round, it can be assimilated with the use of SAD lights that provide soothing, balanced spectrum that are usually glare-free and enhance illumination in a room.
Light therapy or phototherapy (assimilation of natural light through the use of artificial light sources) works best if you follow the prescribed duration, timing and intensity of light. Therapies are usually done for 30 minutes with a 10,000 lux light therapy box.Most people report favorable results if SAD light is used early in the morning. Some people experience difficulty sleeping if therapy is done at night. You can consult your doctor to find the best time of treatment for you. The North Star 10,000 is best positioned 24 inches away from you – up in a place that allows you to read, write, use the computer and do other activities. Don’t look directly into the light as this may damage your eyes!
SAD light offers an easy, affordable and effective alternative to antidepressant medications! Best thing with light therapy is that it is non-addictive unlike your Zoloft or Prozac. Also, this balanced spectrum white light brings other health benefits such as reduction of eye strain and headaches! It may also help you if you are suffering from jet lag, memory problems, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and trouble adjusting to night or graveyard shifts or depression bot caused by seasonal changes.
Mild short-term side effects such as nausea, headache and irritability are common. These uncomfortable effects can be alleviated by changing the intensity, duration or timing of treatment. Up to date, no serious adverse effects were noted but you should still consult your doctor if symptoms persist. SAD lights are contraindicated for persons who have conditions that result to skin sensitivity to light such as autoimmune diseases (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE), history of skin cancer, taking antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and St. Johns Wort and persons who have eye conditions that are prone to light damage.