Are You Battling SAD? Light Therapy is Exactly What You Need
If you didn’t already know, Seasonal Affective Disorder, better known as SAD is as real as disorders come.
What’s more, it could strike at any time, making it more serious than most people would assume.
According to Mayo Clinic, SAD presents in five broad categories of symptoms. The first of these affects an individual’s mood, presenting as sadness, mood swings, loss of interest, loneliness, general discontent, apathy, and anxiety.
The next category is sleep-associated and can either be insomnia, sleep deprivation, or excess sleep. Next comes the symptoms that affect the entire body, these being feeling fatigued and changes in appetite.
Behavioral symptoms also occur when a previously social person tends to isolate themselves, while a previously calm individual may become irritable.
The last category is termed a general group of symptoms, with weight gain, depression, and lack of concentration all falling here.
If you happen to be battling any of these, there’s a high chance that you’re one of the victims of SAD. And did you notice the statement that it could strike at any time? That’s including in the middle of summer, contrary to the belief that it only hits during winter and other chilly months.
Thankfully, the mild form of this disorder is not that serious. You could even treat it without a prescription, simply making a few changes to how you spend your day to remedy the situation.
If you suspect that SAD is attacking you since you’ve been spending all your days locked up in your apartment, Verily reports that a short walk out in the sun should do the trick.
But what if you literally don’t have the time for a walk? Life can be pretty busy and it is understandable that you may not have 20 minutes to spare.
All the same, don’t they say that necessity is the mother of invention? And that’s where therapy lamps come in. These light lamps have the same effect on your body as the sun, so we can all agree that the end justifies the means.
A Tried and Tested Phenomenon
Interestingly, light therapy isn’t even a new phenomenon. It has been around for almost half a century now with articles on the topic dating as far back as the 1980s. In 1989, an article published in Neuropsychopharmacology reported that artificial light, provided it was bright enough, was found to reduce SAD depressive symptoms.
You must be wondering how this works, right? Verily has an answer for you, reporting that it has everything to do with melatonin, the hormone that regulates the natural sleep cycle in humans.
Melatonin production happens at nighttime and stops as soon as you’re exposed to daylight. This means that for persons vulnerable to SAD, fewer hours exposed to the sun translate to increased production of melatonin, hence the depressive symptoms.
The pineal gland is the organ tasked with the production of this sleep hormone. To ensure that it stops overly producing melatonin, you need to subject it to light therapy. Light lamps are readily available on Amazon, but you need to check out a model’s specifications before proceeding to buy it.
Find one that produces 10,000 Lux of light, is specifically designed for SAD treatment, and is clinically tested.
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