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Sunlight Lamp – Health Benefits

Phototherapy, or more popularly known as sunlight lamp therapy, is a treatment method for seasonal afflictive disorder. Treatment involves the use of a special light that simulates the natural light that emanates from the sun. This is particularly necessary for months when the amount of available sunlight is not sufficient such as the cold and dark winter months. The specially designed lights provide doses of UV rays in more concentrated form.  This is effective not only for the treatment of SAD but it can be used for various skin conditions as well as for premature babies.

Here is a list of popular sunlight lamps and SAD lights being sold on Amazon.com, they typically have the lowest prices on these lights.

Philips Hf3485 Wake-up Light Plus, White

Philips Hf3485 Wake-up Light Plus, White – Click to see more info

Day-light Sky

Day-light Sky – Click to see more info

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Light Therapy Device

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Light Therapy Device – Click to see more info

Although natural sunlight is always the best treatment option for the various disorders mentioned, it is not always available in sufficient amounts throughout the year.  It is a fact that the limited sunlight available in the coldest months of the year provides more natural healing benefits than a sunlight lamp which is manufactured specifically to simulate it.  However, it is not always possible to get natural sunlight whenever you need it and artificial lights like a sunlight lamp can help provide relief during such times.

Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

A sunlight lamp is a very good alternative to natural sunlight as it is a non-chemical and non-invasive remedy for seasonal affective disorder and other mood disorders such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and postpartum depression.  Exposure to the light prevents the body from emitting melatonin, thus providing an energy boost and enhances the overall mood of a depressed person.

Although it cannot completely remove depression in some cases, light therapy will help improve the overall mental condition.  This improvement is usually enough to enable the SAD sufferer to function normally and more effectively.  Many depressed people lose their drive to go out or feel too exhausted to go to work which only makes the condition worse.  An artificial lamp intended for SAD treatment can help provide the needed boost of energy and mood upswing.

Improved Skin Condition

Light therapy can help improve the condition of patients suffering from eczema or psoriasis.  Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder characterized by the quick shedding of the skin cells resulting to thick scaly lesions on the skin surface.  Eczema, on the other hand, is a skin inflammation disorder that can be caused by various allergies or direct contact with irritants. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, people with psoriasis and some types of eczema can benefit from sunlight lamp treatments supplemented by medications.  The light helps check the rate of skin cell reproduction.

Less Risk of Neurological Damages

Artificial lights are known to help in the treatment or slowing down of the development of some forms of neurological damages.  A sunlight lamp can also help patients with Parkinson’s disease.  In premature babies, exposure to the artificial light can help curb the high levels of bilirubin commonly associated with such babies.  Extremely high bilirubin levels sometimes damages the brain.  Research showed a marked decline of 14% in the development of various neurological impairments in prematurely-born babies exposed to a sunlight lamp on the very day they are born.

Back To Read More Reviews:  SAD Lights 

Seasonal Affective Disorder Lights – Why Use Them?

Seasonal affective disorder lights are primarily used for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  SAD is a type of mental disorder that causes depression in some people during winter who may otherwise exhibit happy or perfect moods for other times of the year.  However, there are rare cases when the depression that is commonly known as “winter depression” or “winter blues” occurs even during summer months.

Here is a list of popular SAD lights being sold at Amazon.com along with many more user reviews to read.

Uplift Technologies DL930 Day-Light SAD Lamp

Uplift Technologies DL930 Day-Light SAD Lamp – Click to see more info

Verilux HappyLite Deluxe Sunshine Simulator

Verilux HappyLite Deluxe Sunshine Simulator – Click to see more info

Philips Hf3485 Wake-up Light Plus, White

Philips Hf3485 Wake-up Light Plus, White – Click to see more info

The effect of shorter daylight hours on the body clock is considered as the primary cause of SAD.  Important bodily functions such as patterns of sleep and appetite can sometimes be disrupted by sudden mood changes which in turn can be regulated by the amount of light we receive.  Adverse physical effects can also result from disruptions to the rhythm of normal daily cycles.  The effects, however, may vary between persons.  Some may suffer for only a few days while some may manifest seasonal affective disorder symptoms over a longer period of several months.

Common symptoms of SAD include sleeping problems where people have trouble getting enough sleep at night although they feel exhausted during daytime.  The normal sleep pattern disruption triggers the development of other symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, lethargy, loss of sexual appetite, detachment from friends and family, cravings for starchy and sweet foods, and depression. In some cases, SAD can also result to different weight problems.

Various types of medications have been traditionally used for treatment of SAD symptoms.  Recent medical researches, however, point to the use of seasonal affective disorder lights as a more viable option for SAD treatment especially when used to start a day.  This will help set the right mood that will help get an SAD sufferer through, and function normally and effectively for the rest of the day.

The use of seasonal affective disorder lights is more prevalent during the winter months.  This is because the amount of sunlight is usually less in colder months.  With sufficient sunlight exposure, the body gets increased levels of Serotonin which helps people fall asleep at bedtime.  Various types of therapeutic devices are available to simulate natural sunlight – from desk-type lamps to wall lights.  These special devices produce bright lights (measured in terms of lux) that are much more intense than ordinary light bulbs.

The idea is to stimulate the brain and induce it to produce higher levels of Serotonin through exposure to high intensity light that is intended to simulate natural sunlight.  This will help improve sleep patterns as well as to raise the overall level of an individual’s mood.  However, light therapy may not be recommended for everyone with SAD. People with specific eye conditions, those with epilepsy, and those under certain medications must not use therapeutic lamps.  To be sure, consulting with a doctor prior to using the device for SAD treatment purposes is advisable.

Depending on the need, different light therapy products offer varying levels of light intensity.  Artificial light should have about 2500 lux in order to be effective.  The bright light produced by seasonal affective disorder lights is usually about 10 times more potent than what the ordinary light bulb can produce.

Back To Read More Reviews:  Sad Lights

SAD Light Box – Treatment For SAD and Causes

A SAD light box may be used to treat seasonal affective disorder, an ailment afflicting some people that causes them to develop depression every winter season.  When spring time comes, the symptoms, however, miraculously disappear.  Light therapy involves spending some time everyday just to sit in front of a bright light that is specially intended for the purpose.  It is proven to be effective in most seasonal affective disorder (SAD) cases.  Antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapies that are known to work for other depression types may also work for SAD.

Here is a popular list of SAD Light Boxes that are being sold at Amazon.com.  They also have many consumer reviews you can read as well.

Verilux HappyLite Deluxe Sunshine Simulator

Verilux HappyLite Deluxe Sunshine Simulator – Click to see more info

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Light Therapy Device

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Light Therapy Device – Click to see more info

Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device

Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device – Click to see more info

Causes of SAD

Currently, the exact cause of the disorder is not very clear although it is believed that the amount of sunlight directly affects the volume of nerve messages that the eyes can transmit to particular areas of the brain.  Some brain chemical and hormone levels are affected by the influence of sunlight on nerve message activity.  This process then causes mood changes in some people.  And with the less amount of sunlight associated with months during the winter, the chemical and hormonal imbalance usually cause depressions.

In countries north of the equator, the depression symptoms are usually triggered in the darker months of the year (September to November) and continue through March or April. The symptoms tend to be worse in the colder months of the year (December to February).  SAD symptoms are usually non-existent from May to August when sunlight is aplenty.

Genetics is also considered as a factor since there are cases when a tendency to develop the disorder is seen in some people with SAD history in the family.  Individuals with SAD have one in seven chances that a relative in the first degree such as a parent, sibling, or child is also afflicted with SAD.

SAD Light Box for the Treatment of SAD

Although there is no substitute for natural sunlight to address SAD issues, it is not always possible to get it.  Even during SAD-associated months, the limited sunlight still provides better lux than artificial light sources.  Taking a walk outdoors for a couple of hours a day or anytime there is an opportunity may help improve the condition.

Light therapy is perhaps the best alternative when natural sunlight is not available.  The treatment will require the patient to sit before a SAD light box for some time everyday depending on the treatment time recommended by the therapeutic product manufacturer.  The required light intensity, measured in lux, cannot be provided by ordinary light sources. At least 2500 lux is needed for treatment, and this is about 10x the potency of an ordinary light bulb.

The therapeutic light boxes come in various sizes and shapes.  The most common of is a desktop-type that measures approximately the size of an A4 bond paper.  The idea is to simulate the effects of sunlight.  It is not necessary to look directly into the light.  Sitting two to three feet away from the SAD light box regularly is enough to achieve the desired benefits; and this should be done ideally before the symptoms start or as soon as they appear.

Back To Read More Reviews:  Sad Lights

SAD Lamp & Treating Depression

A lot of people suffering from depression symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) find relief by using SAD lamps. People afflicted with SAD generally have less energy than normal, put on extra weight, feel down, and find it more difficult to get out of bed in the morning.  This condition usually lasts throughout winter when the days seem to be shorter and darker.  A sufferer of the disorder has difficulty functioning normally and has a tendency to avoid social contact.  It is not uncommon to find people with SAD quietly tucked inside their rooms for most parts of the day.

Here is a list of popular sad lamps being sold on Amazon.com along with many more user reviews to read.

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Light Therapy Device

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Light Therapy Device – Click to see more info.

Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device

Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device – Click to see more info.

Day-light Sky

Day-light Sky – Click to see more info.

In general, their depression causes them to be less productive at work.  They usually complain of the loss in the quality of their lives and their chronic depression leads to the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue.  In more severe cases, the person with SAD displays the tendency to eat and sleep a lot more.  They sleep up to four more hours than usual and have an insatiable appetite for sweet and starchy foods.  Substantial weight gain is not unusual for people who suffer from SAD. In women, premenstrual symptoms worsen with the disorder.

A person with SAD does not necessarily have to manifest all the symptoms commonly associated with it.  One can experience normal sleep at night but may have a craving for desserts; or the other way around.  For the proper diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder, proper evaluation by a qualified professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker is necessary.  Professional confirmation is crucial because some medical conditions can be easily mistaken for SAD.

Depression, after all, can also be caused by many different factors other than just the physical environment changes.  Although self-diagnosis is possible and many people are able to correctly make the diagnosis based on symptoms they manifest, mistakes can happen and may result to resorting to the inappropriate treatment decisions such as whether or not to use a sad lamp.

The ideal SAD lamp therapy…

Involves exposure to an artificial light source at predetermined periods per session.  Directly looking at the SAD lamp is neither recommended nor necessary and the patient can engage in other activities like eating, writing, or reading while undergoing therapy.  The important thing is that the body and the head are oriented towards the light.  The activity must be focused on areas of the table that the light covers.  Depending on your particular condition and the device being used, a treatment session can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours.

Positioning yourself closer to the artificial light source may also shorten the session. The manufacturers of the device usually include instructions on how to get optimal benefits from their products in their packaging.  It is always advisable to check out the instructions first before actually using the product.  In some cases, it may also help to increase indoor lighting even with just ordinary bulbs.  This is particularly important for those who work or usually stay in dark areas or rooms. This can complement the use of a specially-designed sad lamp.

Back To Read More Reviews:  Sad Lights

Digging Yourself Out Of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Many people find themselves stuck in seasonal affective disorder with no way to get out.  You eventually become immobile, depressed, and you tend to get sick a lot easier.   First, you should be using a sad lamp.  Secondly, not doing anything about it will only allow you to continue in this downward spiral that you’ve drawn for yourself.  However, with a little bit of education and discipline, you can definitely take leaping steps towards defeating seasonal affective disorder.  Here’s where you need to start.

If You’re Not Exercising, You Need To Start

Why? Exercise is the best way to release the happy hormones (also known as serotonin) into your brain.  Personally, I am so tired of hearing commercial after commercial offering supplements for quick fixes in peoples moods and personalities.  These companies often draw about random and subtle facts about our bodies on how they work.  They’re really good at pointing out common deficiencies that can easily be fixed with good diet and exercise.  I don’t care what pills and supplements you take to try and make life easier for yourself, there is nothing that will replace a good routine of exercise.

You’re Indoors Too Much

If you’re battling depression, it’s common for you to want to stay inside and not talk to anyone.  This causes you to stay inside and be exposed to nothing about gray and dark areas.  That’s one of the worst things you can do.  Having enough exposure to sunlight is extremely healthy for you.  Your body is programmed to release hormones that keep you energetic and awake when it senses sunlight.   When you wake up every morning, you should step outside for 5 minutes and soak in the sun.  Over exposure to dark areas will cause your body to release melatonin, a hormone designed to make you sleepy because it detects that it’s dark around you.  As a result, you’ll feel like you have no energy, an increased likelihood of mood swings, and potential insomnia.  All you have to do is get some good sunlight every single day.  If it’s always dark outside because of winter, take a look at some of the best sad lights to get your fix.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

We are creatures of habit.  I understand that routine allows us to feel safer and keeps us in our comfort zone.  However, too much routine can actually reverse your efforts for a better life.  Make a conscience effort to try something new every week.  Make a list of small things you would like to accomplish.  If you need some ideas, do some google searching for an hour, you’ll find plenty of things to switch it up with.

Seasonal Affective Disorder isn’t a serious condition, but it’s really annoying.  Most people don’t even know that they are being affected.  For a while, I used to just hate winter because I thought the cold made my attitude worse.  When I came across this information for the first time, I realized that my day to day needed some adjusting.  With this article, I wanted to explain in lamens terms why you might be affected by SAD.

Sunlight Is Very Important

Why?  Well, everyday you have injections of hormones throughout your body.  Your brain decides when these hormones should be released.  We’ll focus on the two hormones, serotonin and melatonin.  Serotonin makes you happy and feeling very energetic.  Melatonin makes you drowsy and wanting to sleep, possibly even grumpy.  When your eyes can detect that it’s sunny or light out, it’ll inject your body with serotonin.  This makes sense as to why our minds and bodies are awake during the day.  When your eyes senses that it’s dark, it’ll release melatonin into your body to prepare you for sleep.

Now, imagine a winter where the sun hardly shows it’s face.  You probably have very little exposure to serotonin and too much melatonin.  This drags you down massively.  It’s important that you get the right type of light throughout the day.  To explain further…

Your Body’s Internal Clock Is Sensitive

You’re a lot more happier and healthier when your mind and body know what to expect.  Being out of tough with ourselves often causes unwanted stress. When you have good amounts of exposure to sunlight during the day, you’ll feel less likely to want to sleep and it’ll help you prevent mood swings.  This will allow you to have a more desirable sleep at night since you weren’t sleeping during the day.

So, What Do You Do When There’s No Sunlight Out?

Well, you can supplement your light exposure with a Seasonal Affective Disorder light, like the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light.  There are plenty of quality models out there that are helping others to restore their internal body clock to ultimately feel better.  Some people use them for about 30 minutes a day while they get ready for work or while they read a book.  The effects can be seen within a few days or as long as a couple weeks, which still isn’t terribly long.

Here on our site, we provide sad light reviews for you to determine which may suit your needs.  I encourage you to think about your schedule, what kind of light you need, and what you want the lamp to look like.