The Best Light Therapy Lamps for Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder
With daylight savings time back and bringing shorter days with it, you may find that the lack of light exposure has you feeling a bit off. The decrease in sunlight impacts people in different ways, with some developing a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). According to the American Psychological Association, S.A.D comes with many of the same symptoms as depression: fatigue, lack of interest, sleep difficulty (or, on the other hand, excessive sleeping), and feelings of hopelessness and despair. Thankfully, there are several ways you can manage S.A.D, but one popular method is light therapy. And if you want to see if light therapy lamps are the right option for you, there are plenty of high-quality and affordable options out there. But first, what are light therapy lamps and how do they work?
How do light therapy lamps work?
Since S.A.D. is largely related to a lack of sunlight, light therapy is a method of getting your body — and your mental health — back on track. Light therapy lamps, sometimes referred to as light boxes, typically provide 10,000 lux (a measure of light intensity) and can help restore your body to a normal circadian rhythm to keep S.A.D symptoms at bay, according to Harvard Medical School’s health blog.
How to Use a Light Therapy Lamp
Using a light therapy lamp is easier than you might think. Generally, you should use your light therapy lamp by sitting close to it with your eyes open, but not looking directly at it. As for how long to use a light therapy lamp, 30 minutes a day should suffice, but you can adjust this number as you see fit. It’s best if you use your lamp early in the morning, specifically right when you first wake up to help get your body on track for the day ahead. (To make sure you’re getting the most out of your light therapy lamp, HuffPost has a roundup of helpful tips.)
Note: Light therapy may not work the same for everyone and can have side effects, so it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before trying it.