What is Light Therapy?

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Light therapy was the first treatment used to treat the first patient of SAD, and to this day a better one has yet to be found. Over the years, better kinds of light and better ways of getting the light absorbed by SAD patients have been developed, but the light box continues to be the greatest innovation in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder.

HenryWard Beecher once commented,“I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Dr. Sun more.” Perhaps sunlight can’t replace so much as half the doctors, but certainly sunlight, and man-made light, have been shown to treat everything from skin disorders to depression. Several kinds of depression outside SAD have shown good responses to regular light exposure, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression.

Light therapy has also been used repeatedly to help with sleep disorders. It has also helped people who suffer insomnia and sleep troubles as a result of working late- night shifts, and even for jet lag!

As you can see, sunlight is a powerful tool in fighting both depression and sleep problems, and as the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder contain elements of both, it’s small wonder that light therapy has done so much for people who have seasonal problems.

Though light therapy is very simple to administer, there are some basic guidelines to follow in order to get the most out of it.There are also a few precautions to take. Some light sources, for example, can be harmful to your eyes or skin, so it’s best to go with a quality light box specifically designed for light therapy treatment.

Questions or comments? Please leave them below.


By William Barrett
15 01 2011 at 06:41 PM

Does the light therapy work best to help people with SAD when it shines directly on the face?

By Dena
16 11 2011 at 01:13 AM

Could someone buy one of those dawn/dusk simulators but only turn it on when they wake up? I am interested in the lamps, but I want something that can sit on the table without looking like a lamp.

By SADTherapyLamps
18 11 2011 at 10:50 AM

All of the wake up lights can be used as a radio, alarm clock with or without the light, or as a lamp. Some also have dusk simulation to reduce light intensity and turn off the radio when you go to bed. If you choose to use it only to illuminate on the alarm setting, then you’d simply leave it turned off at all other times.

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