Solutions for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
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Do you dread the prospect of winter with its short days and murky skies? Well, you are not alone. For many, the seasonal shift from summer to autumn to winter triggers the onset of a depression that just won’t budge until spring bounds into action.
It is estimated that around 2 million people in the UK are affected by the ‘winter blues’. Otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or more fittingly ‘SAD’, it is a condition that for some can make autumn and winter unbearable. SAD is believed to be triggered by the reduced amount of daylight and sunshine that winter brings. Okay, here’s the science bit. These seasonal changes have a dramatic effect on two key brain chemicals called ‘serotonin’ and ‘melatonin’. Serotonin, our ‘happy, alert’ hormone decreases whereas melatonin, our ‘sleepy’ hormone, is increased. The result is tiredness and low mood, as well as other unwelcome effects. Long hours that some of us must spend in artificially lit workplaces, or on night-shifts, are now also considered to trigger these chemical changes.
Common SAD symptoms:
But the outlook need not be all bleak, SAD can be treated. Antidepressant medication is an option which can work for some, but then there is the possibility of not-so-nice side-effects. In an ideal world, moving to a sunnier climate would work wonders, but that’s just not practical for most. However, it is possible to get more ‘sunshine’ without the necessity of upping sticks!
Light therapy is a safe and effective method for treating SAD, using high technology ‘light-boxes’. These special light-boxes produce light that is as close to natural sunlight as possible. Exposure to the light, for just a short time each day, can banish the winter blues and lift those depressive feelings until the sunnier, longer days return. If the prospect of treating SAD and getting a tan at the same time sounds too good to be true - it is. The light emitted from light-boxes does not contain any UV-rays, so it is completely safe. So how the devil does it work?
Put simply, light therapy is mimicking the effects of sunlight. The light hits the retina at the back of the eye triggering the release of that lovely happy hormone, serotonin. More serotonin equals more nice feelings. It’s that simple. Eating breakfast in front of the light box, and then reading or eating dinner with it can be all that is needed, and the effects can be felt within a few days for some.
But what if you just don’t have time to sit and bask in its light? Well, technology is such a wonderful thing that now there are compact light boxes that are small, portable, and fold out like a book when you need them. So, it’s easy to get some light therapy at work or whilst travelling, discreetly. Concerned about the running costs? Don’t be, there are LED light boxes that use less energy than the more traditional fluorescent tube variety.
Light therapy is considered the most effective treatment for SAD (and recent research has shown that it may also be effective for weight-loss), so if you dread winter and its blues, all you may need is your very own private ray of light.
The Litebook Elite - the next generation of SAD light boxes!
The Litebook SAD lamp is clinically proven to be effective in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and seasonal depression (winter blues). Typical usage time is 15 - 30 minutes each morning.
The portable Litebook Elite should be positioned approximately 12-20 inches (30-50 cm) from your face, and should be offset slightly from centre to reduce glare.
The compact Litebook Elite light box functions both on battery and the mains. The Rechargeable Lithium ION Battery gives at least 2 hours use per charge and there is an inbuilt battery level indicator. The Worldwide AC mains adaptor (US/Europe/Australia/UK) makes the Litebook elite perfect for jet lag applications.
Litebook Elite Main Benefits:
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