Sunlight Therapy and Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Sun light and light therapy can help boost our mental well being during the winter seasons.
The benefits of Sunlight:
Did you know… that during the winter seasons we can benefit from being in more sunlight? Sunlight makes us feel better, more energized and provides our bodies with a good source of vitamin D and vitamin K. Studies have shown both vitamins D and K help fight off viruses, toxins and disease during the winter seasons. The front desk at the center has a light box that we use during the months of December thru February. We truly enjoy how it energizes and gives a boost to our staff and clients during the winter season.
What is S.A.D. and The Winter Blues?
According to a recent report published by the Canadian Consensus Group for the Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD is conservatively estimated to occur in up to 3% of the Canadian population, and 1% of the US. For recent population figures, that means as many as 3 million Americans and 900,000 Canadians suffer from SAD.
The number of people, however, who experience the Winter Blues is much greater. A recent estimate suggests eleven times as many people suffer from the Winter Blues as are diagnosed with SAD. Women are at least twice as likely to have SAD as men.
Who can benefit from light therapy?
You can benefit from using a bright light system if you experience any combination of the following symptoms during the winter months:
- Feeling down
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Difficulty getting up in the morning or excessive sleeping
- Social withdrawal
- Cravings for carbohydrates and weight gain
- You may also benefit from using a light if you are a shift worker, or frequent flyer.
Since the first controlled light therapy study in 1984, there have been more than 60 controlled studies published by researchers around the world. Experts are now confident that bright lights work for the majority of people with SAD. (Response rates of 60% to 90% have been shown).