Light Therapy for Combating Seasonal Affective Disorder
Suffering from the winter blues? You're not alone.
Many people experience an increase in anxiety and depression during the different seasons of the year, with the fall and winter seasons being the most common. This is a mental illness called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and while people with depression or anxiety are at an increased risk of experiencing SAD, anyone can be affected. Fortunately, light therapy is an excellent and natural way to combat seasonal affective disorder.
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy, also known as bright light therapy, is a form of therapy that involves using specific 10,000-lux lighting to positively affect brain chemicals, hence the name. It’s often used to treat seasonal affective disorder, but can also be used as a natural remedy for other types of depression, sleep disorders, jet lag, anxiety and dementia.
How Does Light Therapy Work?
There are many ways you can reap the benefits of light therapy, with the most popular option being at-home light therapy devices, often called SAD lamps. These lights emit 10,000 lux light that’s approximately 100 times brighter than normal indoor lighting, giving you the happy effects of the sun even on the darkest of days.
In other words, Seasonal Affective Disorder has been linked to the lack of sun which is why this mental illness is often experienced (but not limited to) during the fall and winter seasons. Light therapy acts as a natural alternative to the sun, triggering photosensitive receptors found throughout the brain. These receptors affect the neural circuits via neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. To put it simply, light therapy is somewhat of a natural supplement to sunlight.
How to Use Light Therapy to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Light therapy is, inarguably, one of the easiest forms of therapy out there. There are several different devices you can choose from, such as intranasal devices, SAD lamps and bright light therapy earphones.
One of the most reputable and prestigious forms of light therapy often recommended by healthcare professionals is the Vielight Intranasal Light Therapy device. They’re similar to the prior, only instead of placing the lights in your ears, they go in your nostril to gently stimulate the brain in the most efficient way possible.
Vielight Intranasal light devices use non-laser lights to induce restorative activity in the brain, and only require 25-minute sessions each day.
The most common form of light therapy is done via sad lamps, and all you have to do is sit in front of the light for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. Most people like to put these lamps beside their bed or on their desk, so they can complete other tasks while treating themselves to some light therapy. The only downside to this form of light therapy is that you have to be where the light is, whereas the other options can be taken with you. You also have to be aware of low quality sad lamps that may emit harmful or ineffective levels of light.
Bright Light Therapy Headphones
A fairly new form of light therapy that’s only recently been added to the market is light therapy earbuds. To use this form of light therapy, you simply put the earbuds in your ears for 12 minutes a day, and one of the largest benefits you receive is having the option of doing light therapy whenever and wherever you are. You aren’t required to sit at a desk or in front of a light; the light therapy goes with you.
Additionally, by soaking in the light through your ear canals, the light is able to stimulate the receptors in your brain more efficiently.
The effectiveness of light therapy depends on three key factors – light intensity, duration and timing. It’s recommended to use your preferred form of light therapy the same time each day, every day and for the same length of time to ensure optimal affects. Browse the popular Vielight light therapy devices today, and keep that seasonal depression and anxiety at bay.