What is Light Therapy?
Light Therapy is an exposure to specific wavelengths of light for a certain amount of time, and may treat a particular disorder, problem or concern.
Light Therapy may be used for a number of different reasons - commonly to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the winter blues, circadian rhythm imbalances, migraines and skin problems, such as acne vulgaris.
Light therapy has shown to be effective in up to 85% of diagnosed cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
The main types of light therapy are bright lights (SAD Lamps), dawn simulators (Sunrise Alarm Clocks), & red & blue wavelength light lamps.
Bright Lights/SAD Lamps
Bright Lights or SAD Lamps are best used for the treatment of SAD and the winter blues. They are used for a set period of time, every day, throughout the cold winter months and when symptoms are at their worst.
Bright lights are usually manufactured to an industry standard of 10,000 lux. However, modern lights are available at a lower level of lux but have the same results. Lux is a measurement of light strength, therefore, the higher the lux, the stronger the light. Research has proven that bright light therapy has a positive effect on the brain and our moods.
Sad Lamps are to be kept at a distance and should not be looked directly into. Sessions can last from 15 minutes to 120 minutes per day and therefore it is important to choose the right light that suits your daily life.
Light therapy from a SAD light box is recommended during the morning period for the best benefits. It is important not use a bright light before bed as the light treatment may affect your bodyclock.
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Dawn Simulators/Sunrise Alarm Clocks
Dawn Simulators or Sunrise Alarm Clocks are ideal for many individuals. Those who may suffer from energy slumps, milder winter blues, circadian rhythm imbalances or struggle to easily get out of bed in the morning could benefit.
The Dawn Simulators and Sunrise Alarm Clocks are used every morning where sunrise is set to occur during a period of time between 30 minutes to 120 minutes. This soothing, natural sunrise may help your body to produce cortisol which signals our brain to wake. Some clocks also have a sunset feature that is used to help our body fall asleep easily by triggering the brain to produce melatonin.
Compare our Sunrise Alarm Clocks here
Red & Blue Wavelength Light Lamps
Red & Blue Wavelength Light Lamps are recommended for those with skin concerns such as acne vulgaris, p.acnes and rosacea. The blue wavelengths are used for anti-bacterial treatment whilst red wavelengths may help reduce the inflammation, pigmentation and fine lines on the skin.
Blue wavelengths are primarily used for acne to help reduce bacteria. However, it is known that models and beauticians combine both red and blue wavelengths in order to reduce bacteria and inflammation faster, leaving the skin with a better result.
Treatment times may vary between the different light lamp models and can range from 3 minutes to 30 minutes per day with results being seen from anything between 24 hours and 8 weeks. However, this is dependent on the severity of your skin concern.
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If you suffer from any of the following concerns or symptoms, one or some of the different types of light therapy treatments described previously may be useful:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- "Winter Blues"
- Circadian rhythm imbalance
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Energy slumps or fatigue
- Food cravings
- Joint pain
- Stomach problems / digestive concerns
- Acne Vulgaris / P.acnes
- Rosacea / skin redness
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)