Light Therapy for Better Health and SAD Relief
For many people, the fall time change means an extra hour of sleep and the chore of putting all the clocks in the house back an hour. But for 4 to 9% of the population, the shorter winter days can mean the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People who suffer from SAD may notice depression symptoms related to the weather that don’t occur at other times of the year: sleep disturbances, difficulty getting out of bed, problems with concentration, or finding that activities they normally enjoy become chores they have to endure. SAD is distinct from other types of depression in that the symptoms are related to the decrease in sunlight over the winter months.
There are some lifestyle options that can help. Making your environment as bright as possible is one important strategy. Open blinds, sit near the windows, and trim bushes or limbs that block light around your home. Getting outside is also important. Take long walks, eat lunch in the park, or find a comfortable bench and feed the pigeons. Some SAD sufferers also find that exercise, social activity, or even eating chocolate relieves symptoms.
The standard treatment for SAD, however, is phototherapy with a special light box. Effective SAD light therapy can’t be done with standard light bulbs; SAD treatment requires full-spectrum bright lights that mimic the sun. Many patients find that their symptoms improve in less than a week after beginning phototherapy. Anti-depressants can also be helpful. If you suspect you have SAD, consult your physician. Your doctor can correctly diagnose your symptoms and help you develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Tools for Wellness has a wide selection of phototherapy tools and full spectrum lights that can help help you enjoy better health by treating your Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. We offer both portable and full-size options. For use at home or on the road, we have bright light solutions to meet your needs.