Seasonal affective Disorder affects those of us in the northern hemisphere most. Exposure to light does a lot for our health, and one of the greatest effects it has is on our sleep. When our sleep quality is lacking we see this manifest in mood. Poor sleep and depression are intricately related and research is unclear as to which is the root cause (imagine a chicken or egg situation, intricately related but which comes first?) but the cycle that develops is what we focus most on - when sleep is affected, our mood is further affected.
There are options, and we are here for you. One option is light therapy, and we're going to dive into it! It's a common recommendation when working with SAD. Why? Because of light's influence on sleep quality, regulating our circadian rhythm, and hormone production!
Research on light therapy for SAD shows that it helps with production of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps you feel motivated and energized.
Early riser. It can feel early, but going outside first thing in the morning to get natural sunlight in your eyes is ideal. This is a major regulator of our melatonin production and circadian rhythm but we know this is not ideal for some.
There are many different lights for purchase online, most of which are labelled SAD Lights or Light Therapy Boxes. Exposure to this light triggering Vitamin D production helps increase serotonin production and endorphins!
This treatment is rooted in the understanding that reduction in sunlight on our skin can trigger the onset of SAD, and consists of exposure (20-60 mins daily) to light at wavelengths that promote vitamin D production. Research supports that light therapy decreases the impact of SAD and improve mood and energy levels.
What to look for in a light box / lamp:
How to best use your light box / lamp:
If you have questions, we're more than happy to help support you! Book now to chat with our practitioners.
The EASTND Team
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