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Feel Happier with SAD Lamps

Sunlight and SAD Lights daylight lighting

Scientists have been looking into SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, for more than 20 years. One of the treatments is to use lighting that produces a spectrum of wave lengths, similar to what the sun produces naturally. These lights are also called light therapy lights.

Sunlight therapy lamps to alleviate SAD have their fans among people who have felt depressed, moody or listless in the winter months, sometimes for years. Special lights like the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Therapy Lamp are among the products developed to give people a convenient source of simulated sunlight at home.

Many people report that their mood improves, and their cravings for high-carbohydrate foods dissipate, by using these lights for about 30 minutes a day during the season when they would otherwise get limited exposure to natural sunlight

Natural spectrum lights simulate daylight. Strong lights at 10,000 lux create brilliant lighting.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mood condition that is related to shorter days and less sunlight that we get in winter. Suffers report lethargy, insomnia, depression and other mood changes.

SAD is related to the hormone melatonin, which helps the body regulate sleep and moods. It is produced during dark hours, so the body makes more of it when we get less sunlight. December, January and February are the months when SAD is most prevalent. Women are four times more likely to feel this condition.

My friends and relatives in the UK really feel it. While Michigan is at 41 to 48 degrees north latitude, Britain is at 51 degrees and higher, comparable to Newfoundland in Canada. The sun goes down around 4 pm in the afternoon near the winter solstice and in London they get less than 8 hours of daylight on Dec. 21.

daylight replacement light bulbsWe get lots of clouds around the Great Lakes, so gloomy winter weather is nothing new. But these much shorter days and longer nights are far more pronounced.

Some people are using the natural light from these SAD lights help get their biorhythms back into balance, to help relieve insomnia, fatigue, loss of energy and carb cravings.

These lamps come in many variations. I have extra lights in my office, and they help me work more efficiently on long winter nights. There are bulbs available that you can put into your existing lamps, including compact fluorescent versions.

 

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