Do you feel down during the winter months? Do you feel like you can't get out of bed and that everything takes extra effort? If so, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Thankfully, there are treatments available for SAD, including light therapy. In this blog post, we will discuss how light therapy is effective in relieving symptoms of SAD, and how you can use Bright Health's light therapy at home to get the most out of your treatment.
What is SAD?
SAD is a type of mood disorder that is related to changes in seasons. It is most common in people who live in colder climates, where there is less sunlight during the winter months. There are about 5% of adults in the United States that experience SAD, and it tends to manifest for the first time in young adults.
How Can LT Improve SAD?
Light therapy, or LT, has been used as a safe, effective treatment for SAD for decades. In fact, research shows that it is considered the most effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder.
The device that delivers light therapy is sometimes known as a winter depression lamp or winter blues light—a sort of mood light for seasonal depression and other symptoms related to SAD if you will.
Symptoms of SAD to Watch out For
For some people, LT may be more effective when combined with other SAD treatments, such as an antidepressant or psychological counseling (psychotherapy).
Before self-diagnosing yourself as having SAD, however, it is best to talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following seasonal affective disorder symptoms:
- Anxiety or depression
- Weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Irritability or moodiness
- Craving sugary, starchy foodstuffs
Read on to find out about the ways that LT can help you with SAD symptoms.
Improves Mood (Depression)
One of the main reasons LT is used to treat SAD is because it can lift a person's mood. A study of people with SAD found that those who used light therapy had a significant reduction in depression symptoms after two weeks, compared to those who did not use light therapy.
Here's why it works on depression: When you are exposed to natural sunlight, it increases the mood-positive neurotransmitter serotonin in parts of the brain that regulate mood. This action helps to improve your mood and increase energy.
The bright light from a light therapy device mimics natural sunlight so closely that the effects are the same. This effect helps give you more pep and improves your mood, making you feel more like yourself again.
SAD can also cause anxiety symptoms, such as feeling tense, being on edge and having a sense of dread. A Danish study showed that using light therapy in the morning reduces the activity in the fear center of the brain during the dark months. The subjects in the study became better at coping with anxiety-provoking occurrences as a result, thereby reducing their stress and anxiety.
Helps Regulate Sleep
SAD can cause disruptions in your sleep patterns. This is because the lack of sunlight during the winter months can disrupt your body's natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm).
Light therapy can assist you in regulating your circadian rhythm and improve your sleep patterns. It does this by releasing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain. Dozens of studies back up the fact that light therapy can increase the amount of time you spend sleeping and improve the quality of your sleep.
Improves Concentration and Focus
SAD can also lead to problems with concentration and focus. As mentioned, the lack of sunlight can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which can affect the parts of the brain that control attention and focus.
Light therapy can help you better regulate your circadian rhythm and improve your ability to concentrate and focus. A study of people with SAD found that those who used light therapy had a significant improvement in their ability to concentrate and focus, compared to those who did not use light therapy.
What to Look for in a Light Therapy Device
Once you decide to give light therapy a try, it is important to choose a high-quality device. When choosing a light therapy device to treat your SAD, look for one that:
- Has 10,000 LUX—the maximum light level required for relief for SAD
- Is made to treat SAD
- Is safe and emits as little UV light as possible
- Has a stylish design
Bright Health Light Therapy Lamp Home Treatment
If you are looking for a high-quality light therapy device to treat your SAD, Bright Health’s seasonal affective disorder lamp is a great option. It provides exposure to bright light that mimics natural sunlight, which can help to improve your mood and ease symptoms of SAD. Plus, you can use it from the comfort of your own home.
What Sets the Bright Health LT Lamp Apart?
Bright Health’s LT Lamp is the number one expert-recommended treatment for seasonal blues and many other conditions. It is made to specifically treat SAD and features a stylish design that will complement any home décor. At 14" tall, it emits 10,000 LUX of light with 360° coverage. It is safe and emits very little UV light, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
In addition, the Bright Health Light Therapy Lamp comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality product.
Try Bright Health's LT Lamp Today
We hope we answered how light therapy can help with SAD for you. Hang in there! The winter days will eventually get shorter, and the sun will come back out.
In the meantime, Bright Health's LT Lamp can help to improve your mood, energy level and sleep patterns. Try it today!
If you would like to learn more about how Bright Health's SAD treatment light can help you, please visit our How it Works page