As the fall daylight savings transition begins, our days begin to get shorter, and as winter comes upon us we may begin to experience symptoms of light-deprivation. Our sleep can be disrupted, and we might feel depressed, moody, unmotivated, or fatigued. Lack of daylight may even cause us to socially isolate ourselves or experience food cravings and weight gain.
Humankind evolved under the outdoor day/night cycle, and it is essential to maintaining normal, healthy physiology. When there is less sunlight—many people suffer from a “winter depression,” or what is commonly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Typically, symptoms of depression increase in the winter and subside in the spring. Light therapy can help us to feel energized and alert, and can also act to reset the body’s internal clock, naturally restoring our day/night cycle and counteracting the symptoms of light-deprivation in the winter months.
Light therapy has been shown to stimulate alertness and increase production of antidepressant neurochemicals in the brain. Light therapy has been used for over 20 years to treat seasonal affective disorder, and a 2005 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Psychiatry found dawn stimulation with a bright light to be as effective for major (nonseasonal) depression as medications. Additionally, the results occur much more rapidly than drugs, with results noted in as little as one week.
Dr. Fuhrman has researched the therapeutic lights on the market and recommends this Therapeutic Light which contains the features that medical literature reveals are critical to the effectiveness of light therapy for Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Bipolar Depression, Seasonal Depressive Disorder, PMS, Insomnia, ADHD, ADD, and Bulimia Nervosa. Studies show that light therapy may also be helpful in Fibromyalgia and Postpartum Depression as well.