The Importance of Light

20 September, 2011 at 09:22 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science | Leave a comment
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So I’ve finally done it. Bought myself a light therapy lamp, an INNOSOL Lucia 236 (don’t do like the woman in the picture though, who is closing her eyes. It’s better to read for example and keep the eyes open with the lamp slighty beside you. Use it in the mornings between 7 – 9 a.m, for half an hour up to 45 minutes).

This will help me through the dark winter since I realized that I am among those who are sensitive to lack of light during the winter months. So now I can finally look forward to a better winter than the last ones, when I turned night and day around and had trouble getting up in the morning, just wanted to eat fat and carbohydrates, and had a hard time being active during the few light hours during the day.

Vitamin D and a lamp that softly wakes one up with light in the morning helped me partially but not fully. 20% of the population in Sweden do apparently have these problems. Moreover, it is a completely unknown phenomenon in Spain, Italy and Greece!

Light Therapy
In winter, addition of bright lights enhances energy and well-being

By Dr. John Briffa

It’s an extremely gray (and rainy) day here in London as I write this, which reminds me that autumn and winter are not too far away.

Some look to the colder, darker seasons with some trepidation because they find that general vitality and mood take a dive at this time. At its worst, this phenomenon can manifest as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, some individuals are not affected badly enough to warrant this diagnosis and are sometimes classified as having subsyndromal SAD (S-SAD).

A Swedish study published in March in Depression Research and Treatment reported that individuals with SAD and S-SAD were treated with bright-light therapy. In this study, individuals were exposed to 10 days of treatment in a light room.

I am not able to find in the study details regarding how much time individuals spent in the light room each day. Mood, fatigue, and well-being were rated before the light therapy, immediately after, and then a month later.

Some of the individuals in this study were treated immediately when their symptoms became apparent. For others, treatment was delayed by three weeks. The idea was for this second group to act as a control group, of sorts.

However, a much better control might have been exposed to a light room in which the quality of the light is known not to have benefits in the treating SAD or S-SAD.

This design flaw aside, the study did give some interesting results. In individuals with either SAD or S-SAD, light therapy led to improvement in scores of fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and health-related quality of life. What is more, the benefits were still apparent a month after the treatment stopped.

Read more: Light Therapy – In winter, addition of bright lights enhances energy and well-being – Epoch Times

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