Light Therapy for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Seasonal Affective Disorder, What Is It?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a cyclical condition that bring on depression and dispair generally caused by the autumn/winter months that bring with them dark and grey skies and lack of sunlight and not about feeling a bit miserable when it's dark and cold outside. SAD is a type of depression, and like many forms of depression it is often not recognized and is easily overlooked.
How can SAD be treated?
As a lack of sunlight is seen as the main cause of SAD, it makes sense that the main treatment for this disorder is to get more light. There are two basic types of light therapy: bright lights and dawn simulation. Light Therapy - Bright Lights
The light box is set up on a desk or kitchen table such that the angle of light exposure comes down at your eyes. Its action is on the eyes, not the skin, and there are light receptors in the eyes that are specialized for sending signals to the biological clock. When we stimulate those receptors with light at the appropriate time of day for the individual, it resets the clock to its springtime mode, and that's when we begin to see the alleviation of symptoms Light Therapy - Dawn Stimulation
Whilst many sufferers spend 30 minutes or more each day sitting by a bright "light box" to combat SAD, the "dawn simulator" works while the person is asleep. It reproduces the gradually rising light levels of a May day, while the negatively-charged ions attempt to copy atmospheric conditions outside the home.