The Benefits of Full Spectrum Lighting

Does the lack of sunlight in the winter influence your mood? Does extended time at a computer make you fatigued or irritable? Do you feel sleepy and fatigued at work? You are not alone. We spend an inordinate amount of time indoors, under artificial light. Wintertime can be especially challenging, as our exposure to natural daylight is reduced. Just like clean air and water, our bodies need natural daylight, it can be as important as any nutrient. Extensive research indicates that we need at least 2 hours of light exposure each day to function normally. When it starts to get gray and dreary outside, or when we spend too much time under fluorescent light, our bodies respond to this change. Our productivity and sense of well being can be compromised.

 

Let there be light

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. And God said ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. – Genesis

For centuries, we have woken with it; it marks and measures the length of our days and the changing of our seasons, locking us into the rhythm and heartbeat in the nature of life. We respond both culturally and biologically; we follow the patterns that date back to the beginning of time.

Light enters the eye and is translated and interpreted by millions of specialised cells in the visual system. It gives our world shape, depth and colour. It gives us great pleasure in many forms, sharing a smile; watching billowing clouds in the blue sky and even on to reading a book.

 

Do I have S.A.D?

Every Year, in the dark period of autumn, winter and early spring, millions of people start feeling tired and listless. These people may well be affected by the so-called WINTERBLUES, or; as doctors call it, sub-syndronormal SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The problems are usually caused by a lack of light. Research has shown that 60% of the population recognised at least one of the symptoms. Amazingly, 15% of us have all the symptoms of Winterblues.

 

What is SAD?

SAD is a cyclic, seasonal condition, which means its symptoms appear during a particular season of the year. It is a form of depression or mood disorder with a seasonal pattern. SAD is generally triggered by the lower light levels of the winter season. Winter‘s short days and long nights may induce feelings of depression, lethargy, fatigue, headaches and sleep problems. SAD is much more serious than just feeling the winter blues. If you have experienced the following symptoms over more than one low light season and you are not aware of other contributing factors, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD:


Disturbed sleep, increased sleep duration
Fatigue and lethargy
Increased appetite and craving for carbohydrates
Mood swings – generally feeling low
Social withdrawal
Decreased libido
Difficulties with concentration
Anxiety
Irritability
Headaches

 

Light Therapy for S.A.D

Regular use of a Lightbox, particularly in the morning will produce the best results. Depending on how long and at what distance the Lightbox is used, you will notice its effect within one to two weeks. You don't even have to interrupt your normal activities when you are taking your 'light bath'; you can just eat your breakfast, keep on reading, writing, watching television or working on the computer. All you have to do is look at the light occasionally.

When used at work a Lightbox can help improves vitality!

 

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