Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD) or Winter Depression, is defined as a Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal pattern. Almost everyone is affected to some extent by changes in the seasons. Light therapy is often recommended as a first line intervention for this condition because experience, and most clinical studies, have found that it is more effective than antidepressant medications. Light therapy, which for most people involves less than 1/2 hour of exposure to the light therapy lamp, is essentially a natural intervention. It has the same effect on a person as traveling towards the equator where the days are longer, and does not have the pharmacological side effects associated with mood influencing drugs.
SAD is a form of depression that occurs in individuals who are particularly sensitive to seasonal changes. For these people, the effect of short days in winter causes severe winter blues that interferes with their ability to function normally. Seasonal Affective Disorder is linked to the activity of the internal body clock, a neural center in the brain of all mammals that regulates seasonal changes in eating, sleeping, and social activity. In winter the body clock senses the shortening length of day and responds by causing mammals to sleep longer and eat more, in order to conserve energy and gain weight to survive harsh winter conditions. Humans often experience these changes as a reduction in energy levels and a tendency to gain weight in the winter months. More on The effect of the seasons on human physiology..
The basis of light therapy is to lengthen perceived day length, restoring the body clock to a summer mode. While most people respond with behavioural changes related to sleep and energy levels, for some people changes in the functioning of the body clock that occur in winter results in depressed mood. Milder forms of these lowered mood states are known as the Winter Blues, while more serious cases result in depression.
While this depression can affect people in the same manner as Major Depression, SAD is considered an atypical depression. People suffering from Major Depression usually have trouble sleeping or eating, while people with SAD will often have trouble waking in the morning, and often have increased appetites, particularly in the evening. The increased appetite in the evening, particularly for foods with high starch or sugar content, is called Carbohydrate Cravings..
Properly timed light therapy influences some neural pathways in the brain that use serotonin as a primary neurotransmitter. It has been suggested that serotonergic activity in the brain can be affected by the influence of light on the activity of the body clock. This may explain some clinical studies have found light therapy to be an effective treatment for non-seasonal Major Depression, as well as for Bipolar Depression.
SAD was originally thought to be a variant of Bipolar Depression, and some people with Bipolar Disorder
find their depressive episodes are deeper and more frequent in the winter months. It is interesting that Light Therapy,
recognized as the first line treatment SAD / Winter Depression, has also been found to be an effective treatment for
non-seasonal Bipolar Depression in clinical studies.
see Light Therapy for Non-Seasonal Depression. and Clinical Studies for Non-Seasonal Major Depression and Bipolar Depression conducted with Lo-Light lamps. Other studies using bright light therapy lamps to successfully treat non-seasonal depression can be found on Medline.
While it was originally believed that exposure to bright light is needed to influence brain physiology and reset the body clock, numerous independent studies in laboratories around the world have found that Sunnex Biotechnologies low-intensity Lo-LIGHT therapy technology influences the body clock as effectively as bright light, but in a safer and more comfortable manner. Read More
Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps do not use high intensity light, The GreenLIGHT technology is a selected narrow spectrum of green light wavelengths to which the body clock is particularly sensitive. The hazard that exposure to blue light wavelengths from bright light and blue light therapy lamps is now becoming more widely recognized, and concerns about the contribution to age related blindnes from exposure to blue light has now been expressed by several retinal sprecialists. The combination of low intensity and the elimination of blue light makes Lo-LIGHT lamps less hazardous than normal indoor lighting, adn cabn be used without risk of eye damage even by people with pre-existing ocular damage. Lo-LIGHT therapy lamps have been used for over 15 years to safely and comfortably help customers feel happier and more energetic through the winter months.
In North America, a no-risk rental program is available on some models. If the unit is purchased within 2 months from the time of rental, all rental payments are applied towards the purchase price. Order Now!
The Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT phototherapy lamp comes with a five year warranty. Details