How to use a Light Box for Depression
Review By 24th January 2017 *Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, and at no additional cost, this site may earn a commission if you buy.-
Did you know that a matchbox can be used to as a therapy? Well, studies have proven that light therapy has worked and can still work to reduce depression. How does it work? The light therapy involves the use of light boxes hence emitting full spectrum light which happens to be similar to the light from the sunlight. Some people suffer from seasonal depression referred to as Seasonal Effective Disorders (SAD). Depression is said to occur due to lack of exposure to the sunlight and so mostly occurs during the winter and spring season.So to curb this disorder, the light therapy is recommended to such patients.
The disease may sometimes affect a person’s daily life routine, and hence the light therapy can be used to treat the patient. How does the light therapy work? Well, the patient is expected to sit in front of the boxes when they wake up in the morning. The patient should sit close to the light box with their eyes wide open but should avoid looking directly at the light. Choose other activities that you can engage in other activities such as watching the TV, reading or eating just to make sure you are not directly staring at the light. If the outdoor comes back, you can always move from the match box light.
Using a Sun Light Box for Depression
How can you use the matchbox light to get the best therapy results?
All about he Lux – Use a light box with 10,000 lux. It is advisable to use a match box which has 10,000 lux when performing this therapy. This is because you need to get the light the same as the one that is emitted by the sunlight. It is important to ensure that the light can provide enough spectrum light and also ensure that it blocks the ultraviolet rays which are harmful to your skin and the eyes as well.
Position it right – Place the box at the eye level or higher. This is an important fact to put in mind when using the light therapy. Ensure the light box is not directed to your eyes to ensure the light has the same effect as the light from the sunlight.
Place the light at 45 degrees. It is always important to ensure that the light is not put directly in your eyes. Therefore ensure that it is positioned at an angle of 45 degrees either to the right or the left side of your eyes.
Morning Use – Use the light box in the morning. The time mostly advised for the light to be used during the morning hours. You can start off by using the light for about 20-30 minutes to see its effect on boosting your mood. If you find that it is not giving enough effect, you can always increase the time of usage. The good thing about the therapy is that you can always multitask whereby you can work, eat or even read as you continue with your treatment.
Use the light consistently – When using the light therapy, it is crucial to ensure that there is consistency. This will help you in achieving effective results. Therefore use the light every morning throughout the winter or the spring season.
Not on medicine – Don’t use the light therapy when taking medicines which are photosensitive. Avoid using the light therapy with medications which are photosensitive. This is because the medication causes your skin to become sensitive to the light which may lead to skin burns or rashes. Your skin can also be exposed to acne referred to as Accutane. Therefore, if you are taking photosensitive medication, consult a doctor before you use the light therapy so as to ensure your safety.
Monitor use – Monitor the effect of the light therapy. It is advisable to watch if the light therapy is working. The results can be seen in the changes that occur in the person moods. Your mood is expected to improve either within a week or even two when the therapy is used on a daily basis. Therefore it is important to ensure you track your mood so you can see if the light therapy is indeed working on you.
Key points when using
- Use it daily in the morning
- Don’t stare at it just have it on near you while having breakfast or reading
- Don’t use if you are taking medicine
- Monitor the effects it has on you and your mood
Once you have bought a light box, it is important to use it daily to get maximum benefit. Get into a routine of using it that fits how you are in the morning, so if you sit down for breakfast and a cup of coffee each morning, sit with the light on next to you, if you plan you day or read in the morning then do it with the light next to you. This is easier to do as you are just adding this next to you, and not changing your routine at all. If you don’t sit still in the morning and make time to sit down for breakfast, not only will it make you feel a little more relaxed you can then benefit form the SAD light.
Buying a SAD light
There are many sunlight boxes on the market, they come in varying sizes and brightnesses, some are ideal for use at a desk at home or work, and are portable, while others are large and very bright, Think about how and where you will use it, will it be on your desk at work, or at home when having breakfast. If at home then we recommend the Lumie Abrica or the Verilux HappyLight Liberty, both are 10,000 Lux and perfect for helping with SAD.
SAD lights to check out
- Verilux HappyLight Liberty
- NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light
- Lumie Arabica Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD Lamp
- Aura Day Light Therapy Lamp
Combining a SAD light with a sunrise wake up light can make a huge difference to your mood in the inter months when it is darker and will make a big difference if you suffer with SAD.