Wednesday 30 April 2014

Does Light Therapy Really Help Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Does Light Therapy Really Help Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The long nights and dull days of winter can cause some people to experience feelings of low mood; this is called Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD or ‘Winter Depression’. SAD is thought to be caused by an imbalance in the production of a ‘sleep hormone’-melatonin. The increased light levels can cause the reduction of ‘sleep hormone’ production and, thus, reduce the related symptoms.

Light therapy is a standard treatment of seasonal affective disorder and related symptoms including:

•  Chronic fatigue syndrome
•  Lowered motivation
•  Increased need for sleep

In my light Therapy treatments I use the Bioptron light system, a system worldwide patented light therapy medical device with a specific optical unit emitting light that is similar to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum produced naturally by the sun but with no UV radiation with min. of 10 000 lux which is beneficial for the SAD treatment.

Scientific studies suggest that light therapy may help with the symptoms of SAD.


Eastman Cl, Young MA, Fogg LF, Lìu L, Meaden PM: Bright light treatment of winter depression: a placebo-controlled trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1998; 55: BB3 - 889.

Lam RW and Levitt A: Canadian Consensus Guidelines for the Treatment of SAD, A Summary of the Report of the Canadian Consensus Group on SAD, Can J Diagnosis 1998; Suppl. 1 - l5.

Lee TM, Chan CC: Dose-response relationship of phototherapy for seasonal affective disorder: a meta-analysis. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1999; 99; 315 – 323.

Ottawa Holistic Wellness Centre

If you suffer from a mental health issue and are unsure about which therapy to try we offer a free 15 minute 'no obligation' consultation in which we will help you choose the most appropriate treatment path for you. Book your free 15 consultation online NOW.

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