For many people, winter can be quite a gloomy season; the cold days and nights, the bleak landscape and the lack of light can make it difficult to be motivated or energized about getting ready and doing your tasks for the day. Some shake it off with a good cup of strong coffee, a bit of exercise or a round of listening to their favorite uplifting tunes. Others simply tough it out; they go to work or school, do their chores, take it one day at a time and wait it out until the sun is ready to shine brighter once again.
While common winter blues can be handled with the various strategies that work with each individual, the feelings of negativity, however, can be more intense and serious for others. These people experience major bouts of depression during the months when the hours of daylight become shorter and the temperature becomes colder. They plunge into a deep, dark feeling of unexplained fatigue, decreased energy and extremely low spirits. A lot of them won’t be able to eat, sleep and function normally. Some will even contemplate (or in worse cases, commit) suicide. This type of depression is called the seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
The usual route for treating SAD is through therapy and anti-depressant medications such as Prozac. A more practical (and increasingly being tagged as a safer and more effective) way is the use of a light therapy box. Under this mode of therapy, the patient will be exposed for a certain period of time every day to a type of artificial light that mimics the brightness and warmth of sunlight. Previously considered an alternative form of therapy, SAD lights are now increasingly being incorporated into the standard depression management procedures of leading medical and mental facilities around the world.
Compared to synthetic anti-depressants, seasonal affective disorder lights offer a more natural, non-invasive form of treatment that leads to fewer side effects. A one-time purchase of the lamp is all you need, making it a more practical, convenient and less expensive option than medications, which you will most likely need to take for a long time (or lifelong, for some). You just need to make sure the intensity of light and dosage recommended by the physician is strictly followed.
Light therapy helps people overcome depression by helping balance serotonin and melatonin – the two chemicals that are largely responsible for regulating your mood, managing your body clock and balancing your energy levels. Doctors and researchers have said that the right choice of lights and the correct application can bring dramatic improvement to how patients feel and help them bring back their usual energy and mood, until the dark period lifts and the sunshine finally takes over.
About the author:
Chelsea Sawyer is a nurse and a certified health coach who has been helping many people in changing their behaviors to keep them focused on achieving their health and fitness goals. She also frequently visits http://www.sadlightsreview.com/ for updates regarding the trends in beneficial SAD therapies.