S.A.D. Light Therapy
Are you S.A.D.?
Scientists now feel that the lack of bright light during winter is a major cause of many types of depression.
S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a recently recognised condition. Its causes are still partly a mystery, but it is known that the nerve centres in the brain controlling our daily rhythms and moods are stimulated by the amount of light entering the eyes. During the night, the pineal gland produces a substance called melatonin to make us drowsy. At daybreak, the bright light causes the gland to stop producing this melatonin. But on dull winter days, especially indoors, not enough light is received to trigger this waking up process.
How does S.A.D. affect people? Sufferers have to endure most of the following: Sleep problems - oversleeping but not refreshed, cannot get out of bed, needing a nap in the afternoon. Overeating - carbohydrate cravings leading to weight gain. Depression - despair, misery, guilt, anxiety, normal tasks become frustratingly difficult, hopelessness. Family problems - avoiding company, irritability, loss of libido, loss of feeling. Lethargy - too tired to cope, everything's an effort. Physical symptoms - often joint pain or stomach problems, lowered resistance to infection. Behavioural problems - especially in young people. The symptoms tend to start from around September each year, lasting until April, but are at their worst in the darkest months.
Light Therapy is a scientifically proven answer. Studies with different types of depression have shown great improvements and good results have also been reported for helping people on shift work, or suffering from jet lag, PMS or insomnia. Around 10 million people in the UK alone have symptoms of S.A.D. which are treatable with light therapy."These lights have been used exclusively in our 10,000 lux trial...and have proved to be one of the most efficient means of treating patients. We have used many of these products and have found them to be extremely reliable."
How it works
The missing daylight can be replaced by the right amount of bright light for a few minutes each day. Users sit in front of the light source, working or relaxing in a normal way. The light must be very bright (at least five times brighter than normal office lighting). It must also be safe to use, with the harmful ultra violet part of the spectrum filtered out. The light source must be powerful enough to enable the therapy time to be acceptably low and preferably with no flicker, unlike normal fluorescent fittings.
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