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Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD - Improves with Bright Light Therapy

Updated on July 9, 2014


Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, affects the moods of millions of people around the world during the winter months. The depressed moods are attributed to darkness and lack of adequate sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD

Symptoms of SAD include difficulty staying awake, eating too much, weight gain, low energy and lack of concentration. These symptoms increase as the depression grows.

People that suffer from SAD are often treated with bright light therapy. Sitting a prescribed distance from an ordinary incandescent light bulb does not work however, so full spectrum white light is preferred since they emit higher lumens. The good news is that as little as 30 minutes per day in front of the full spectrum white light can help relieve multiple symptoms. Of course some people will need longer sessions.

SAD and Light Therapy - Part 1

SAD and Light Therapy - Part 2

Treating SAD

It is not necessary to use light boxes although many of the bright light therapy lamps resemble a box. There are lamps specifically designed for treating SAD. Both styles of high lumen therapy lights help to regulate the body clock which in turn brings on a better mood and clearer thinking.

Examples of Bright Light Therapy Lamps

Some include Ion therapy – such as the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp. Negative Ion therapy is said to improve mood. There is a built in timer and the lamp is portable.

The SADelite Light Therapy lamp not only helps to combat SAD – it works great as a task light as well. Spend 30 minutes a day reading, writing or balancing your check book under its glow.

For a soothing way to fall asleep at night and to gradually wake up in the morning, there is the BioBright Sunrise Clock . Light gradually increases in the morning and slowly dims in the evening allowing the body to adjust slowly to waking and falling asleep. The BioBright is also an alarm clock – with a backup beeping sound in case of a power outage. The BioBright Sunrise Clock can also be used as a bedside lamp for reading.

Pros and Cons of Bright Light Therapy Lamps

PRO – Most of the therapy lamps look good and will fit in with most any décor

PRO – Bright Light Therapy Lamps improve mood and concentration

CON – Bright Light Therapy Lamps cost more than an ordinary incandescent lamps



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      SAD light 6 years ago

      Hi Debbie

      Thanks for spreading the word about SAD with your great article. You're right; SAD lights are one of the best treatments for SAD. In fact, clinical research has proven them just as effective as antidepressants without the undesirable side-effects. Unbelievably, some antidepressants prescribed for SAD can increase the risk for suicide and violent behavior. The Nature Bright Sun Touch Plus Ion Therapy Lamp is a great light for SAD because it not provides light therapy, but it emits negative ions. High density negative ion generators have also been clinically proven to be effective in treating SAD. Keep up the good work!