During the fall and winter months many of us experience depression or depression-like symptoms due to decreased exposure to sunlight. From fatigue, poor concentration and irritability to food cravings, weight gain and unhappy thoughts, the lack of light can really take its’ toll.
A light box specifically made to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Major Depression and sleep disorders can be a really effective and low cost way to treat these conditions and symptoms. The box works by increasing levels of serotonin, melatonin and vitamin d, therefore increasing mood, energy, concentration, happiness, etc. Multiple studies have shown light boxes to be effective with minimal side effect and fast results.
What to look for in a good light box
-The light box should be 10,000 lux
-Look for a low UV option
-There should be a filter (usually a plastic screen) to diffuse and filter out UV rays
-It should come with manufacturer’s instructions that tell you the correct way to use it, including how far away to sit from the light box.
Light box best practices
-Use daily during the fall and winter months
-Use it within one hour of waking up in the morning – early morning is best
-Allow 20-40 minutes for use
-Generally sit within 16-24 inches from the box (but always follow manufacturer’s instructions)
-Your eyes should be open, but not looking directly into the light
-Work with your health care provider to ensure the best results for your specific condition or symptoms
Want to know more?
Check out these great articles on light box therapy!