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What is Light Therapy For Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD | Light Therapy Products In Winter

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Health

Light therapy products are used to treat patients suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. The common theory is that the absence of natural sunlight plays a role in how we feel. Since seasonal affective disorder occurs mainly in the fall and winter seasons, this seems to hold true.

Deck during snow storm

Here in New England, we’ve certainly received our share of snow for the winter. It’s pretty to look at when it’s all clean and fresh.

When the flakes start flying, I usually cocoon inside, bake a loaf of Irish Soda bread, do cookies with Lil Moomette or some good old Yankee homemade soup ~ maybe get something going in the slow-cooker so the house will smell warm and inviting. Best not to be out on the roads when it’s a sleet or ice mixture going on too!

However, being inside, with the warm and fuzzy feeling only lasts so long until we start getting on eachother’s nerves.

This past weekend the Hubster and I had dinner with two couples who we used to boat with that we’ve known for years. The snowbird couples are leaving to spend the next several months in Florida.

Being out in the sun makes people happy. It’s not just because the weather gets warm because the temperature could be frigid with the sun beaming down. Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder may shed some light on the subject.

During the latter part of the year, the days are shorter which means fewer hours of light. With the change in seasons comes a change in the weather. Those shorter days are more cloud covered and colder than the former months. Nature goes into hibernation as everything appears to “die” so it can be reborn again in the spring.

Light Therapy Products

With light therapy, the conditions of the sun are mimicked in an attempt to alleviate depression. The therapy works to deliver a light that is as intense as the sunlight. To do that, the light therapy lamp (device used for light therapy) emit a beam of light with an intensity of 10,000 lux. This is the measure of the light intensity as compared to a normal light bulb.

A person utilizing this therapy will sit in close proximity to the light box for anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours. The light hits the body particularly the face without staring directly at the light. Light therapy lamp  users reported better moods after only two weeks of the therapy.

There have been no definitive clinical trials conducted with light therapy to measure its effectiveness on seasonal affective disorder. People who utilize it have done so with the advice of medical personnel. Only they can determine if the situation will benefit from the use of a light therapy lamp.

The light box has been used by people suffering from clinical depression. It has indication that their symptoms may lessen with use. People with sleep rhythm problems have benefited from light boxes as well.

Light therapy has other indications besides seasonal affective disorder. It is a treatment for acne and other skin disorders. The artificial ultraviolet light of a light box destroys the bacteria that cause acne and other skin disorders.

The artificial ultraviolet rays don’t damage skin like normal sunlight. The rays are not as strong. For use with patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder, this was a concern of the process. Sitting in front of a light that emits ultraviolet radiation on a daily basis would help the depression at the cost of damaging the skin.  Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps that are  used for that treatment emit no ultraviolet radiation.

I’ll be adding a light therapy lamp to my Wish List as it’s about as close as I’m going to get to go on a winter vacation this year!

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About Cindi Moomettes

New England blogger and influencer from Connecticut and author of the multi-generational Moomettes Magnificents where she writes about Family, Grandparents and Grandchildren, home decor, Crochet, Knitting, DIY, crafts, family travel familiarization trips (FAMs), photography, social media and reviews. You can also find her at Moomettes Crochet Shop for the latest Handmade Fashion trends, Home Decor, Handmade Crochet Wash Cloths & Accessories. For food and recipes visit at her blog Frugal New England Kitchen ***Products and/or companies featured on Moomettes Magnificents may have provided product samples and/or compensation for consideration. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. See also Disclosure***

15 comments

  1. Really great post! I floated over hear because I was researching this very topic. Contrary to belief, SAD also affects some people in the south, on a smaller scale. We're used to year-round sun, so when a few of weeks of gloomy weather & no sun hit us, some people are really affected.

  2. Momma TaderDoodles

    Practically all the women in my family have this to some extent. My midwife said I only needed ten minutes a day in direct sunlight, so I try to linger walking to the mailbox and feeding the dog whenever I can.

    Great Post!

  3. I recently got a light box and think it has made a big difference for me. The light just feels good on my face and I’m always disappointed when my 15 minutes are over!

  4. I have friends who have found the light boxes extremely beneficial. Since it doesn’t sound like they do harm, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have use them.

  5. I would love to have a bit of your snow here in TN! Stopping by from Simply Vicki…

    I think these are a great idea.

  6. Great information. The snow is so beautiful. I am fortunate enough to live in sunny California and yesterday the sun was shining so I was able to have my own light therapy outside. But today it is supposed to rain. The weather does contribute to depression. I always feel my lowest in the winter time.

  7. Great post! We might need a light box since we live here in Chicago. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ok, as a Texan near the coast, I only see snow in pictures. Will you be hosting southerns for fun-filled snow ball fights and delicious Irish bread and slow-cooker food? If so, I’m on my way! Nice article.

  9. I just stumbled on your great site. I love finding bloggers my age.

  10. Carissa(GoodnCrazy)

    I totally wanted a real light box. I always have a rough February.. But this year?? Turns out my new teen tiny town agrees with me? The sunniest city in oregon go figure? And wow, this much sunshine in winter totally agrees with me, Tell everyone to come join me in Southern Oregon huh??

  11. Great post…I’ve been looking into for myself. I need light therapy!

  12. I am in the Midwest and think light can/does play a function in peoples mental health. Crime rates sometimes go up during periods of low sunlight- it is either folks get on each others nerves, or go bonkers.

    I try to go outside no matter how cold it is- heck I gotta let the dog out, but there are times it makes ya feel grumpy with less time outside.

  13. I was JUST thinking about this yesterday. I read a quick news story last week that some flu viruses may be more prevalent in winter because of the lack of sunshine. Huh.

    I would definitely get a light therapy light. It’s about as close to a vacation we will get, too! :(
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  14. What works for me is going tanning. DH and go once a week and that seems to perk up our moods.

  15. I think you should repost this again this year! Honest, the winter months can be really rough… there’s only so much cold and dark one person can handle.

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