Perhaps you have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. As the seasons change and fall turns into winter, many people may experience less energy, a lack of motivation, and mood changes.
The Mayo Clinic defines Seasonal Affective Disorder as “a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year”. Symptoms may include oversleeping, weight gain, low energy, and changes in appetite.
The reduction of natural sunlight in the winter months is said to be one underlying cause of SAD.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School explain that “the lack of light can throw off your circadian rhythm. This can cause your brain to produce too much of the sleep hormone melatonin and to release less serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that affects mood”.
If you or a loved one suffer from SAD, you are not alone. An estimated 10 million Americans experience the same disorder each year. Luckily, there are several ways to combat this. According to Psychology Today, treatment plans can consist of medication, counseling, and light therapy – and that’s where we come in.
Light therapy is “the treatment of medical or psychiatric conditions (such as seasonal affective disorder) by the controlled application of light”.
It is important to note that not just any light can be used for light therapy. Harvard Medical School gives these four tips to maximize the benefits of a light box:
1. Your light box should have at least 10,000 lux exposure
2. Don’t stare directly at the light
3. Get about 30 minutes of exposure each day
4. Start in the morning
As we head into these winter months, we are doing our research on finding the best products for consumers to use at home. New products will be added to our online shop – in the meantime, check out some wellness lighting here.
The information presented in this article was procured through research from trusted sources. If you are experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, please contact a medical professional. As with anything, please do your own research before deciding to use a product or service.