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SAD Light Therapy Lamp Guide

SAD Light Therapy Lamp Guide

By Lisa Selvaggio

As the days get shorter with the changing of the seasons, you might start to notice that you feel down, unmotivated, and moody. You aren’t alone. Known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a lot of people suffer from this type of depression in the fall and winter months. Thankfully, there are treatment options available to combat the symptoms, and one of those treatments is phototherapy, which is also known as light therapy.

How Can a Light Therapy Lamp Help Someone with SAD?

Whether you work long hours indoors or it’s just too cold to head outside, a lack of exposure to sunlight can take its toll on your wellbeing. For example, less sunlight might result in your body’s circadian rhythm becoming unbalanced, and your serotonin levels might drop, both of which may lead to depression. And it might even cause a disruption in the balance of melatonin in your body, leading to moodiness and changes in sleep.

A SAD light therapy lamp might help undo at least some of the damage. That’s because, during those months of the year when you can’t get the sunshine you need, you can use it to expose your skin to the same type of light that it would receive in the great outdoors.

How to Use a SAD Light Therapy Lamp

Knowing how to properly use a light therapy lamp can make a big difference in whether or not this type of treatment will help you feel better.

You might discover that using your light box for anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes within an hour of waking up in the morning is most beneficial. And, although you shouldn’t look at the light, you can use it with your eyes open, but keep it at a safe distance of around 16-24 inches away from your face.

Note: Even though you can buy a light therapy lamp without a prescription, it’s recommended that you consult with your physician first. He or she can help you figure out which lamp would be best for your needs, as well as how long, and how often, you should use it. And it’s important to discuss light therapy with your doctor first if you have been diagnosed with eye conditions like cataracts or glaucoma, as a couple examples.

Invest in the Best Light Therapy Lamp to Combat SAD

There are many SAD light therapy lamps that you can purchase for use in the comfort of your own home. But, like anything else, buying the highest quality product can help ensure it will work safely and effectively.

When shopping for a light therapy lamp, it’s a good idea to look at:

  • The type of light that’s emitted – Full spectrum or broad spectrum will mimic natural light from the sun. Experts recommend getting a lamp that will expose you to 10,000 lux of light and will emit the lowest amount of UV possible.
  • If it’s quiet and doesn’t flicker – A constant hum coming from your light therapy lamp can make the experience of sitting in front of it unpleasant. And if the fluorescent light flickers, it might cause symptoms like headaches and nausea.
  • Light intensity settings – Some people experience side effects, such as jitteriness, headaches, and nausea, when they first use a light therapy lamp, especially if the intensity of the light is too high. With a lamp that lets you modify the intensity settings, you can start at a lower setting and gradually increase the intensity as you see fit.
  • Portability, timer, and stand – These features can be helpful if you want to be able to take the lamp with you when you travel, if you want to be sure you use it for the appropriate amount of time, and if you want to be able to easily adjust its height and angle.

Here Are Some of the Top SAD Light Therapy Lamps to Consider

With a variety of light therapy lamps to choose from, you might become overwhelmed once you start shopping for one. To help you along, here is a short list of some of our top picks for lamps that are designed to target seasonal affective disorder:

Suffer from SAD? Light Therapy Might Help!

If you’re dreading the idea of experiencing SAD again this winter, why not give light therapy a try? Select one of the high-quality light therapy lamps on the market so you can reap the benefits of this natural treatment right at home. Just be sure to carefully read and follow the directions on the lamp you choose so you can rest assured you’ll be using it correctly and safely.


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