Sun Lamp Therapy

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Sun Lamp Therapy

If you experience frequent cases of the blues during the shorter days of winter, or from spending hours working indoors without being exposed to sunlight, you might benefit from a SAD sun lamp. SAD light therapy treats Seasonal Affective Disorder with full-spectrum light, which mimics the full-spectrum optical brilliance of sunlight. Repeated exposure to full-spectrum light from sun lamps produces biochemical changes in the brain that will help to lift your moods. According to Columbia University, in trials with patients who used a full-spectrum sun lamp to treat their SAD, three-fourths showed lessening of their depressive symptoms.

  1. Types

    • If you sit at a desk for several hours each day, consider purchasing a desktop sun lamp or lightbox. Desktop sun lamps and lightboxes are small enough to fit on your desk and treat you with the beneficial full-spectrum light while you’re working.

      Floor full-spectrum sun lamps can be positioned in any spot in your living space. They have flexible goosenecks, come with dimmers so you can adjust the brightness, and provide full-spectrum light while you’re reading, watching television, sewing or eating meals.

      If you travel often, portable full-spectrum sun lamps are small, light, and designed to fit inside a suitcase to provide you with full-spectrum light treatments while you're on the road.

      Sun lamp light intensities are measured in illumination units called LUX. Purchase a model that is at least 10,000 LUX for optimum full-spectrum light healing benefits.

    Treatment

    • For effective treatment with the full-spectrum light therapy, sit in front of your light therapy sun lamp each day from 30 minutes until early afternoon. As you become more comfortable using the sun lamp, slowly increase the time you're exposed to the full-spectrum light.

      Sit as close to the sun lamp as possible with the lights on, about one arm length or 20 inches away. Don't doze or sleep; your eyes need to be open to fully benefit from the full-spectrum light treatment. Your face and body should be exposed to the light, but avoid looking directly into it. Carry on with your regular activities, which should be illuminated by the full-spectrum light.

      Avoid using the sun lamp in the evening, because it could disrupt your normal sleep pattern and cause insomnia.

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