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The Benefits of Full Spectrum Light for Seasonal Affective Disorder

written by: vrodbaz • edited by: jen2008 • updated: 12/18/2010

The benefits of full spectrum light for seasonal affect disorder (SAD) can help people who deal with this disease find a more effective way to cope. Full spectrum light for seasonal affective disorder can alleviate sadness and depression associated with this disorder during the cooler months.

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    What is SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder?

    Have you ever experienced a sense of sadness or depression when the weather changes from sunny to overcast and gloomy? If you are like many people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, then you are familiar with experiencing changes in your mood during the fall and winter months.

    Being aware of your mood swings and how the weather has an effect on your moods, is the first step to finding the right treatment to help cope with this disorder. Many people find relief from SAD and its symptoms through phototherapy, also known as full spectrum light therapy.

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    What is Full Spectrum Light Therapy?

    Full spectrum light therapy is a light source produced by light bulbs, that possess similar characteristics to natural sources of light, such as sunshine. Full spectrum light bulbs radiate a bluish white light easily seen by the human eye. They also have the same value of brightness which closely resembles natural sun light.

    These are the main reasons why full spectrum light therapy can be a very conducive treatment for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Sunlight has been known for quite some time for having positive effects on mood and motivation-- full spectrum light therapy also produces these same valuable affects in humans.

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    The Benefits of Full Spectrum Light for Seasonal Affective Disorder

    The benefits of light for seasonal affective disorder include:

    • Improved mood
    • Improved motivation
    • Enhanced energy level
    • Improved learning ability
    • Better behavior

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    Essential Properties of Full Spectrum Light Therapy

    Previous research conducted by scientists suggested that the most beneficial form of treatment for people who suffer from SAD is sun exposure in the early morning; however, a researcher in Philadelphia discovered that people are most genetically inclined to have a higher sensitivity to light with a bluish cast to it.

    In the study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that the bluish light is two times more effective then green light at helping people reset their biological clocks. It also helps people regulate receptors that are known for keeping circadian time.

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    What to Look for When Shopping For Full Spectrum Light Bulbs

    Full spectrum light bulbs that reach a temperature of 5000 Kevin (K) can produce light that is closely related to that of the light produced by the sun.

    When you purchase the right full spectrum light bulbs with the bluish undertone you won’t need as much light as you may think. This is a specialized feature that many light bulb manufacturers are working on at this time. However, studies have shown that SAD sufferers who are exposed to full spectrum white light for 30 minutes a day or more are 65% likely to experience a decrease in the symptoms associated with SAD.

    In order to seek relief from depressive symptoms during the fall and winter months it is essential to implement full spectrum light for seasonal affective disorder. The benefits of full spectrum light for seasonal affective disorder leads to a decrease in the severity of symptoms of depression.

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    Sources

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195/DSECTION=risk-factors

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200311/new-light-seasonal-depression

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