If you have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, you may have heard of light therapy. Light therapy is a way to treat SAD by exposing yourself to bright light through the use of a lamp or other device with bulbs that emit bright white light. The benefits of this therapy depend on how long you expose yourself to it and how often you do it.
If done once per day for 30 minutes every morning, it can help reduce symptoms associated with depression such as fatigue and loss of appetite in just one week.
If done twice per week for 60 minutes each time (or longer), it can help relieve symptoms altogether within a month or two. In addition to reducing depression-related symptoms, some studies suggest that using this form of treatment could even have long-term effects such as improving memory performance in older adults with Alzheimer's disease.
SAD light therapy is a treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is caused by a lack of sunlight, and it affects people who live in areas that have little to no sunlight during the winter months when they are most likely to develop symptoms of depression.
Light therapy is a proven treatment for SAD, but it requires that you spend time outside each day while wearing special sunglasses or goggles that block out all light except the red end of the spectrum—the same wavelength that your body needs to produce melatonin, which helps regulate our circadian rhythms (i.e., when we feel sleepy or alert). The idea behind this treatment is simple: exposure to bright lights stimulates higher brain activity; therefore, if your brain doesn’t get enough exposure then you will feel depressed and sluggish at times throughout each day.
Improve Sleep and Mood
Light therapy can help you sleep better, too. Light is a natural stimulus for the circadian rhythm—the body's internal clock that regulates when we feel awake or tired based on the amount of daily exposure to light and darkness. The problem is that most people don't get enough natural sunlight because they live in cities or spend their time indoors during winter months. So light therapy has been shown to improve sleep quality and even help with other health conditions, including dementia and psoriasis (a skin condition).
It’s also been found that bright light therapy has positive effects on mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects about 3% of Americans each year according to research from Harvard Medical School.
Used to Improve the Body's Circadian Rhythms
SAD light therapy can be used to improve the body's circadian rhythms. The idea behind it is that by exposing yourself to bright light at a particular time each day, you'll be able to reset your body clock and help fight seasonal affective disorder (SAD). You can use an LED lamp or full spectrum fluorescent bulb with reds, blues and greens in it.
The recommended amount of time for SAD light therapy depends on how severe your symptoms are:
If you're having trouble falling asleep or staying awake during the day because of too much sunlight exposure, try using this treatment at least 3 times per week for 2-3 weeks before trying anything else. This will help normalize hormone levels so that they don't fluctuate as much due to lack of sleep during winter months.
SAD Light Therapy for Other Health Conditions
SAD light therapy has been shown to help with other health conditions, including dementia and psoriasis. The light is delivered through the use of blue-enriched glasses or a device that produces light.
The body's circadian rhythms are disrupted by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which causes people to feel depressed during the fall and winter months when they're exposed to less sunlight than they'd like. Light therapy can be used to improve the body's circadian rhythms by helping you get more exposure to daylight during those dark days when you're feeling down, or it can be used as an alternative treatment for depression itself if your underlying cause isn't related directly enough with SAD.
Light therapy has side effects that should be managed carefully; some people may experience headaches or nausea when using this method of treatment while others may not experience anything at all aside from mild discomfort while wearing their glasses or device over time until their bodies adjust fully after switching schedules on regular basis.
SAD Light Therapy Side Effects
While light therapy can provide short-term relief from SAD, it's important to understand that it comes with some risks. For example:
Light therapy can cause headaches and eye strain.
Light therapy may cause nausea or vomiting in some people who are sensitive to the treatment. If you experience these side effects, stop using your device and consult a doctor immediately before continuing treatment with it again.
Using a light box could result in skin irritation on your face (and other areas around your body) if used continuously for more than several weeks at a time—so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to try out this method.
Light therapy is a great way to treat depression and other mental health disorders. It's easy, quick, and highly effective. However, it's important to know how to use light therapy correctly before you start using it.
Consult with your doctor before starting any new treatment regimen or medication. Your doctor will help you determine if light therapy would be right for you based on your current health status and any other factors that may be influencing your mood or overall well-being (like sleep).
Buy a light box that's appropriate for your needs—you can find these at many hardware stores or online retailers such as Amazon Prime (check out this link). If possible try buying one of the ones with built-in timers so that there won't be any confusion about how long each session lasts! In addition, make sure that there are no extra cords getting in the way since this could distract from concentration during treatments themselves."
So, what’s the verdict? Should you use SAD light therapy? It’s a very personal decision to make. If you have any questions or concerns about your condition, please consult with your doctor before trying anything new.