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Posted 10/13/2020 in Christian Mental Health Tips

How to Use Light Therapy Lamps for SAD and Other Disorders


How to Use Light Therapy Lamps for SAD and Other Disorders

Bible verse about God being natural light of our life

Do you feel down and tired during the winter months? You're not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues. SAD is a type of depression that is caused by the lack of sunlight during the winter.

Light therapy lamps can be a helpful treatment for SAD. They work by mimicking natural sunlight, which can help to boost your mood, energy levels, and sleep quality.

In this article, we will answer your top question about how to use light therapy lamps for SAD and other mood disorders. We will also provide tips for choosing the right light therapy lamp and using it effectively.




What are Therapy Lamps?

Therapy lamps (also know as light box, SAD lamp, and bright light therapy) are devices that emit uv light/bright light that is similar to natural sunlight. They are used to treat a variety of conditions, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression, and sleep disorders.

Therapy lamps work by stimulating the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. When you are exposed to bright light, your body produces more serotonin, which can help to improve your mood, energy levels, and sleep quality.

Therapy lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are designed to sit on a table or desk, while others are designed to be worn on the head. There are also light boxes that are specifically designed for children.

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What are Conditions Can Therapy Lamps Help?

Therapy lamps, also known as light therapy lamps or light boxes, are primarily used to treat several conditions, including:

  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): This is one of the most common conditions treated with therapy lamps. SAD is a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months when daylight hours are shorter. Therapy lamps simulate natural sunlight, helping to alleviate the symptoms of SAD, such as low mood, fatigue, and changes in sleep patterns.

  2. Depression: Therapy lamps can be used as an adjunct or alternative treatment for non-seasonal depression. They can help improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce depressive symptoms in some individuals.
    You May also Enjoy: 10 Bible Verses to Help with Depression

  3. Sleep Disorders: Light therapy can be effective in regulating sleep patterns, particularly for conditions like delayed sleep phase disorder and non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder. Using a therapy lamp in the morning can help reset the body's internal clock and improve sleep quality.

  4. Jet Lag: Light therapy can help travelers adjust to new time zones and alleviate the symptoms of jet lag. By exposing yourself to light at specific times, you can reset your circadian rhythm and reduce the impact of travel-related fatigue.

  5. Bipolar Disorder: Some individuals with bipolar disorder may experience mood disturbances related to changes in light exposure. Light therapy can help stabilize mood and regulate sleep patterns for those with bipolar disorder.

  6. Shift Work Sleep Disorder: People who work irregular or overnight shifts often experience disruptions in their circadian rhythms. Light therapy can be used to help adjust to shift work schedules and improve alertness during work hours and sleep quality during off-hours.

  7. Non-Seasonal Mood Disorders: While therapy lamps are most commonly associated with SAD, they may also be beneficial for individuals with non-seasonal mood disorders, such as major depressive disorder, who experience symptoms like low energy and sleep disturbances.

It's essential to use therapy lamps under the guidance of a healthcare professional, particularly if you have a preexisting medical condition or are taking medication. The specific type of therapy lamp, duration of exposure, and timing can vary depending on the condition being treated and individual factors. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help ensure that light therapy is used safely and effectively.

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What Are the Benefits of Using Therapy Lamps?

Here are some of the benefits of using light treatment:

  • Can help to relieve symptoms of SAD, such as depression, fatigue, and low energy levels.

  • Can improve sleep quality.

  • Can boost mood and energy levels.

  • Can help to reduce anxiety and stress.

  • Can be used to treat other mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder.

How to Pick a Therapy Lamp?

When choosing a therapy lamp, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • The wavelength of the light: The ideal wavelength for light therapy is 10,000 lux.

  • The size of the lamp: The lamp should be large enough to cover your face and upper body.

  • The brightness of the lamp: The lamp should be bright enough to be comfortable, but not so bright that it is uncomfortable to look at.

  • The features of the lamp: Some therapy lamps have features such as timers and dimmers.

If you are considering using a therapy lamp, it is important to talk to your doctor first. They can help you determine if light therapy is right for you and recommend the best type of therapy lamp for your needs.

How Many Hours a Day Should you Use a Light Therapy Lamp?

The recommended amount of time to use a light therapy lamp is 20-30 minutes per day. However, you may need to use it for longer or shorter periods of time depending on your individual needs. It is important to start with a shorter period of time and gradually increase the amount of time you use the lamp as your body adjusts.

Where is the Best Place to Put a Light Therapy Lamp?

The best place to put a light therapy lamp is in a well-lit area where you will not be disturbed. The light should be directed at your face, but you should not stare directly at the light. The recommended distance between the light and your face is 16 to 24 inches (41 to 61 centimeters).

How Often Can You Use a Light Therapy Lamp?

You can use a light therapy lamp every day, but it is important to take breaks. It is recommended to take a break after 2 hours of use. You can also use the light therapy lamp in the morning and evening, but it is important to avoid using it too close to bedtime, as this can interfere with sleep.

How to use Therapy Lamps

A quick google search will bring up tons of therapy lamps to consider. Find one that is at least 10000 lux and filters out 99% of UV rays. We love the Dr. Amen Light Therapy Lamp by Brainmd; however, we were also able to find a few great picks on amazonCircadian Optics Light and Carex Day-Light Classic Therapy Lamp.


BRIGHT MINDS Light Therapy Box By Dr. AmenBRIGHT MINDS Light Therapy Box By Dr. AmenBuy NowCircadian Optics UV-Free LED Light Therapy Box,Circadian Optics UV-Free LED Light Therapy Box,Buy NowCarex Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy BoxCarex Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy BoxBuy Now

 

  1. Place the lamp somewhere high and at least 2 feet away from your eyes.  The therapy lamp should emulate being outside in the sun. It should always be placed higher than eye level and more than two feet away unless it is under 10000 lux.

  2. Place it at an angle, not directly in front of your eyes, Try to keep it in at least a 45-degree angle to the left or right of your eyes.

  3. Use the lamp in the morning for 20 minutes to an hour. When you first get your therapy lamp, start with 20-30 minutes every morning to see if it helps boost your energy and mood.

If it doesn’t make a difference, try longer periods, for up to an hour every morning.

Here are some additional tips for using light therapy lamps:

  • Choose a light therapy lamp that has a wavelength of 10,000 lux.

  • Sit in front of the light therapy lamp for 20-30 minutes each day.

  • The light should be directed at your face, but you should not stare directly at the light.

  • The recommended distance between the light and your face is 16 to 24 inches (41 to 61 centimeters).

  • You can use the light therapy lamp in the morning and evening, but it is important to avoid using it too close to bedtime.

  • If you have any questions or concerns about using light therapy lamps, talk to your doctor.

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What are some Additional Tips for Using Light Therapy?


Use The Therapy Lamp Daily.

Using your therapy lamp every single day is more likely to help boost your mood and energy. If you're only using the lamp a few times a week, it won't be as effective. 

Track Your Mood To See If It's Working.

You should begin to see an increase in energy and a changed mood within 1 or 2 weeks of daily use. Many people see an even quicker response to therapy lamps. Track your mood daily to see your progress.

Speak to Your Doctor before Using a Therapy Lamp. 

If you haven't used a therapy lamp before, speak to your doctor first. Some people have experienced dangerous reactions to the bright light in the first few days.

Combine Therapy Lamps with other Powerful Approaches for Boosting Your Mood like CBT.

Therapy lamps work well on their own but combining them with other effective approaches can bring quicker results.

There is immense healing power in light. Perhaps this is why Jesus referred to Himself as the Light of the World in John 8:12. Light always overcomes.

Final Thoughts on Using Light Therapy

Light therapy lamps can be a helpful way to improve low energy and low mood. However, it is important to note that light therapy is not a cure for SAD or other mental health conditions. If you are experiencing symptoms of SAD or other mental health conditions, it is important to see a doctor or therapist. They can help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.


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About the Author: 

Christian Counselor in Maryland, New York and New Jersey Corine Williams, Ph.D. Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliams. In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here:  https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2


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Disclaimer: the information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a Christian counselor near you, please check out our directory located here:  Christians Therapist Near Me







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