Treating SAD

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Treating SAD

Try light therapy to help combat 'winter blues' and seasonal affective disorder

Boots

Information from

Boots

Published 01/09/2009

Do you find that the winter months and darker days bring tiredness, decreased energy levels and low moods? If so, it could be that 'winter blues' or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) are the cause. Lumie dawn simulators can help banish the winter blues and ease the symptoms of SAD.

Do you find the winter months and darker days bring tiredness, decreased energy levels and low moods? If so, it could be the "winter blues" or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) are the cause. Lumie dawn simulators can help banish the winter blues and ease the symptoms of SAD.


What causes SAD?

The symptoms of SAD are similar to those of the "winter blues", for example, tiredness, lack of energy, low moods and social withdrawal. However, SAD is much more severe, often seriously affecting people's performance at work, their home life and relationships. The cause of SAD is unclear, but shorter, dark days are the trigger; they prolong the production of melatonin, normally only released by the body at night to help us sleep.

Another factor is thought to be low serotonin levels (a feature of depression). Seratonin levels can improve significantly in the summer, and this effect can be mimicked with light therapy. Indeed, many SAD sufferers have found bright lights can make a real difference to their life.


The thinking behind light therapy

There are two main factors used in light therapy:

  • a) The amount of light that reaches the eyes, measured in "lux"
  • b) The amount of "blue light" you get


Lux and brightness

Outside on a bright, sunny day, we might receive as much as 100,000 lux. On a dull day it may be as little as 2,500 lux. The optimum amount for treating circadian disorders (disruptions to our daily biological functions, for example our wake / sleep cycle, hormone levels etc.) is generally thought to be around 10,000lux.

However, since light is brighter the closer you are to it, a lux measurement is only meaningful if you also know how far you are from the source. Therefore Lumie calculates the effectiveness of its SAD lamps based on how close you are to them, as well as time spent in front of them.

For example, Lumie Brazil can provide 10,000 lux in 30 minutes if you are approximately 43cm away from it. Smaller lightboxes, such as Lumie Brightspark and Desklamp, aren't as bright, so to receive 10,000 lux you would have to sit much closer. As this may not be as practical, you simply use it for longer to get the same benefit.


Blue light

Researchers have recently discovered short wavelength light at the blue part of the spectrum is particularly important in regulating circadian rhythms. So it isn't just the brightness that is important, but also how much "blue light" you are getting.

Lumie's LED products, such as the Lumie SADlight and, Lumie Zip, use blue light-enriched white lights, so although they aren't as bright as the lightboxes which produce higher lux levels, they can be just as effective.


Lumie Brightspark

Which Lumie light?

All Lumie products are based on scientific research and comply with the Medical Devices Directory.

  • If your SAD symptoms are quite severe you should see a doctor.
  • You may find the

    Do you find the winter months and darker days bring tiredness, decreased energy levels and low moods? If so, it could be the "winter blues" or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) are the cause. Lumie dawn simulators can help banish the winter blues and ease the symptoms of SAD.


    What causes SAD?

    The symptoms of SAD are similar to those of the "winter blues", for example, tiredness, lack of energy, low moods and social withdrawal. However, SAD is much more severe, often seriously affecting people's performance at work, their home life and relationships. The cause of SAD is unclear, but shorter, dark days are the trigger; they prolong the production of melatonin, normally only released by the body at night to help us sleep.

    Another factor is thought to be low serotonin levels (a feature of depression). Seratonin levels can improve significantly in the summer, and this effect can be mimicked with light therapy. Indeed, many SAD sufferers have found bright lights can make a real difference to their life.


    The thinking behind light therapy

    There are two main factors used in light therapy:

    • a) The amount of light that reaches the eyes, measured in "lux"
    • b) The amount of "blue light" you get


    Lux and brightness

    Outside on a bright, sunny day, we might receive as much as 100,000 lux. On a dull day it may be as little as 2,500 lux. The optimum amount for treating circadian disorders (disruptions to our daily biological functions, for example our wake / sleep cycle, hormone levels etc.) is generally thought to be around 10,000lux.

    However, since light is brighter the closer you are to it, a lux measurement is only meaningful if you also know how far you are from the source. Therefore Lumie calculates the effectiveness of its SAD lamps based on how close you are to them, as well as time spent in front of them.

    For example, Lumie Brazil can provide 10,000 lux in 30 minutes if you are approximately 43cm away from it. Smaller lightboxes, such as Lumie Brightspark and Desklamp , aren't as bright, so to receive 10,000 lux you would have to sit much closer. As this may not be as practical, you simply use it for longer to get the same benefit.


    Blue light

    Researchers have recently discovered short wavelength light at the blue part of the spectrum is particularly important in regulating circadian rhythms. So it isn't just the brightness that is important, but also how much "blue light" you are getting.

    Lumie's LED products, such as the Lumie SADlight and, Lumie Zip, use blue light-enriched white lights, so although they aren't as bright as the lightboxes which produce higher lux levels, they can be just as effective.


    Lumie Brightspark

    Which Lumie light?

    All Lumie products are based on scientific research and comply with the Medical Devices Directory.

    • If your SAD symptoms are quite severe you should see a doctor.
    • You may find the Lumie Arabica or Lumie Brazil lightboxes are beneficial for home treatment; a quick session before you shoot off for work will help set you up for the day.
    • If you are able to sit in front of a light at work, thenLumie Brightspark and Lumie Desklamp are stylish home accessories which can be used to help treat your "winter blues" / SAD symptoms.
    • You can also use Lumie while on the move. The LED Sadlight and Lumie Zip use LEDs so they are much smaller and more portable. This makes them ideal for when you are travelling or simply taking to or from work.


    Buy Lumie lights now


    Read more like this:

    Find out how light therapy can help reduce acne and spots

    or Lumie Brazil lightboxes are beneficial for home treatment; a quick session before you shoot off for work will help set you up for the day.
  • If you are able to sit in front of a light at work, thenLumie Brightspark and Lumie Desklamp are stylish home accessories which can be used to help treat your "winter blues" / SAD symptoms.
  • You can also use Lumie while on the move. The LED Sadlight and Lumie Zip use LEDs so they are much smaller and more portable. This makes them ideal for when you are travelling or simply taking to or from work.


Buy Lumie lights now


Read more like this:

Find out how light therapy can help reduce acne and spots

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