S.A.D and Light Therapy

October 10, 2011

(Photo by gr33n3gg)

The correct lighting is very important to not only plants and animals but us also. I found this out the hard way after years and years of confusion and pain.

Since I’ve lived in the Chicago area for about 20 years now – I’ve noticed a trend that during Spring and Summer, I feel great (upbeat and energetic).

Every Fall and especially Winter, I become a hermit, sleep more, have trouble getting out of bed, can’t exercise, become moody, antisocial, etc etc.

I unconsciously went thru this cycle every year until a couple years ago when I consciously realized what was happening. Before realizing this – every Winter, I was convinced that I’m lazy and a bum and will be a loser all my life.

Every Spring & Summer – I’d forget what I felt like during Winter. During the warm seasons, I’d feel like a superstar and optimistic about life.

Only until I started journaling in 2008 did I realize what was happening – because sometimes I’d look back into my notes to see that this wasn’t my fault and was something I went thru every year.

Anyways – last Winter I started researching Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) and saw that I wasn’t alone in feeling like this.

The cure is surprisingly simple and it’s helped me immensely. We just need a small amount of the correct lighting therapy (15-30 mins daily) to feel good again, regardless of how dark or glum it is outside.

1) I personally use NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light & Ion Therapy Lamp.

There are a bunch of different products you can experiment with – this was one I found after doing my own research for a while.

The positive thing with this item is that it has Ion Therapy which is supposed to create the same fresh air you feel by a waterfall or ocean breeze.

It also has a built in shut off timer for 15, 30, 45 & 60 minutes.

2) I also replaced as many of my dim yellow light bulbs with full spectrum bulbs – which produce pure white light which is supposed to be better for your mental health.

I use these made by Alzo.

Additional Resources:

1) Light Therapy (wiki)

2) Light Therapies for Depression