A SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a condition that usually occurs in the winter months where there is not a lot of sunlight and the days are shorter as well. Because of this some people can get sleepy and even depressed. This is also more commonly referred to as the winter blues.
SAD is a very common disorder that effects a lot of people even all year round.
Symptoms Of SAD can Include:
- Trouble Sleeping
- Mood Swings
- Difficulty Concentrating
Our body uses the sun in order to function correctly and maintain its circadian rhythm. When sun enter our eyes our body produces hormones that help us sleep and make us feel good. In the winter months sometimes since there is not as much sun, some people report having problems sleeping.
A light box is a device that helps your body get its daily dose of sunlight. Light boxes are usually fairly bright and some even as high as 10,000 lux. Although this is not as bright as the sun it does give a similar effect and they do indeed work for the most part.
How To Use a Light Box
When purchasing a light box you are going to want to make sure that you get the brightest model you can. Although they can tend to be a little bit pricey I have found that its definitely worth the cost. Look for good reviews as you want a box that will last a long time without dying.
A common light box used to treat SAD
The majority of light boxes should only be used briefly at first, maybe 1 or twice a day for no more then 30 minutes. If your light box as a setting for lower light then you can use that more often as well. The reason why you want to go easy at first is because some people report headaches from the light and too much can cause effective stimulation. Once you get used to the light you can increase the dosage as you go.
What Time Of Day Should I Use My SAD Light Box?
The best time to use the light box is as soon as you wake up. You can also use it in the afternoon or early evening as long as your have a low setting. I probably wouldn’t use a light box after 5:00pm as too much light can mess up your sleep cycles.
I usually use my light box while reading, using the computer, or even watching TV. he best way is to set the light off to the side but still have to close to you. Remember, you never want to look directly into the light, you want it to approach your eye from the side or in front and above. The idea is to mimic the sun.
To learn more bout SAD click here.
If you have some experience using a light box please share!