When the seasons change it’s common for people to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “winter depression”.
SAD light boxes are a common treatment for the disorder, helping to fool the body into thinking it’s getting more natural sunlight. But just how do these boxes work to ease the symptoms?
What Symptoms Do SAD Light Boxes Work On?
SAD lights have been known to have a noticeable effect on Seasonal Affective Disorder. This covers a huge range of symptoms, and may even help other conditions or complaints.
Some of the symptoms that these lights are designed to ease include:
* Lack of concentration,
* Lack of motivation,
* Memory loss,
* Sexual dysfunction,
* Low mood,
* And much more.
People who regularly use SAD lights find that they wake up feeling more energized, and generally feel happier when using the lights.
However, it’s important to use the lights regularly for the best results.
How Do SAD Lights Produce These Results?
SAD light boxes work by emitting levels of light designed to look like sunlight. They come at different levels of brightness, which is measured in lux.
To be effective, SAD lights should be a minimum of 2,500 lux. The higher the lux number, the brighter the light will be and the less time it will take to be effective.
The reason why this light is so important is down to hormones in the body. Sunlight helps to regulate the body clock, so when the weather gets colder and days get shorter, our natural body clock can go out of synch. Why? Because it causes hormones, such as cortisol, to be released and mess with our regular patterns.
Sunlight is also directly related to melatonin and serotonin. The latter is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate our moods.
Those with depression often have lower levels of serotonin, and higher levels of melatonin. The reason for this is that serotonin is converted to melatonin during darker hours of the day – so a lack of sunlight can add to the problem.
Light therapy boxes are designed to be used near to the body in order to get the full benefits. They can be set up on a desk, where you can continue with every day activities.
Although you should be faced toward the SAD light boxes, you shouldn’t look directly at them due to the fact that the bulbs are a lot stronger than traditional bulbs. Around 30 minutes to a couple of hours of use each day can help ease the symptoms of SAD.
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