Learning with Litecraft : The benefits of SAD Lighting

The clocks turned back an hour last week which means the evenings will get darker earlier. Whilst Autumn/Winter can be a great season with the festive holidays and celebrations, the combination of poor weather and darker days can become a struggle for many people, we sometimes call this the winter blues but medically it is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It has been officially proven by doctors that a lack of sunlight to our bodies can cause sleeping problems, lethargy and a lack of energy, anxieties and depression can also be triggered in some people.

Lack of light especially in the morning prevents our bodies from producing the required hormones in order for us to feel wide awake. This in turn causes us to become sluggish and tired during the day. To help with these feelings of tiredness and depression it is advised that you try and provide an adequate amount of light to your body at specific times in the day in order to regulate your body clock. Other than prescribed medication, there are other ways to control this disorder; the use of artificial sunlight through a medically certified Sun lamp has been known to help.

SAD Therapy or Light Therapy has over the years been proven to help sufferers of SAD.  When our exposure to light is minimised, a hormone called Melatonin is over produced in our bodies; Melatonin causes us to become sleepy at night so if we are getting increased levels of Melatonin during the day then we will become sleepier. Lack of light also causes an imbalance with the hormone Serotonin; this is known to cause depression. Light Therapy using a light box works by providing a summer light which when directed onto the body produces the correct levels of Serotonin and minimises the production of Melatonin. It is proven to work within 7 to 10 days of the first course.

It is advised that you seek medical advice before starting a course of Light Therapy; however there are no dangerous side effects when using a SAD light. The amount of UV in a light box is the same as in a general light bulb therefore using SAD Lighting is not harmful in any way to your skin. There are however, a few things to consider when using an SAD light. It is advised that you consult your doctor if you suffer from any eye problems, have a history of depression and also if you suffer from epileptic attacks.

All light boxes differ in specification so we’ve outlined some questions to consider when purchasing a light box:

  • Is the product a proven SAD light?
  • How much does this product cost? (light boxes can range from £100 to £300)
  • What is the recommended treatment time with this product?
  • At what distance should I place the light box from my face?

For more information regarding SAD light boxes please visit: www.sad.org.uk