Managing Winter Blues With SAD Lights

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The coming of the winter season means fun to some individuals. It’s the season of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and bobsledding. However, for some individuals, this season means bleakness and desolation. These people cannot help but plunge into a deep feeling of melancholy and darkness.

This type of depression is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It is also often known as “Winter Blues” and is associated by less exposure to sunlight. It is said that the amount of sunlight a person’s body receives affects some of the body’s hormones and chemical processes in the brain.


Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder varies from the degree to which the person exhibits the symptoms of depression. For mild to moderate cases, a person may be able to overcome it without the need for medical intervention. For severe cases, the need for anti-depressant medications and the need for light box therapy are necessary.

Understanding SAD Lights or Light Therapy Box

A light box or a SAD light resembles the light that comes from the sun. The bright light emits UV rays that are absorbed by the body. Once these rays are absorbed, chemical changes happen in the brain. These changes include balancing the serotonin and melatonin levels in our body and nervous system. As a result, the body’s circadian rhythm or the so-called sleep-wake cycle is stabilized and an increase in the mood is experienced. The other symptoms of depression are also decreased.

Safety And Efficacy Of Light Box Therapy

Studies show that the use of light boxes is safe and effective in treating “Winter Blues.” However, several factors must be considered in order to ensure its safety and efficacy. Before undergoing SAD light therapy, it is vital that you consult your doctor for the right prescription. The correct management of SAD includes the use of correct SAD light. These lights differ from one another in which some emit brighter light as compared to others and some differ in color.

In addition, it is also important that you understand the correct application of the light box for it to be successful. The duration, the time of the day and the intensity of the light are considered essential and only your doctor can assess these details correctly.

The use of SAD lights alone can be effective in battling SAD. However, if you experience severe symptoms, your doctor may require you to take anti-depressant medication together with this therapy.