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Have You Considered Using Light Therapy to Cure The Winter Blues?

Posted on March 26 2014

As this harsh winter we’ve been having continues to drag on more and more people are looking for ways to help combat the winter blues and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The winter months, which have shorter days and less sunlight, can throw off our body’s internal clocks and interrupt our normal circadian rhythm, which can trigger SAD. Some of the most common symptoms of SAD and the winter blues can include a combination of some or all of the following:   *’hibernation’ – staying inside all the time and not wanting to leave the house *being withdrawn *experiencing feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and being extra irritable *having a lack of energy and motivation *losing interest in hobbies and activities *oversleeping *gaining weight *craving carbohydrates and sugary foods   Light therapy is an effective treatment method for SAD, which has been being used since the early 1980’s, and today it has grown into a standard treatment method. While light therapy doesn’t work for everyone, studies show that after only a few weeks of treatment light therapy effectively reduces the symptoms of SAD for as many as 70% of patients.   Light therapy is an easy, effective, and drug-free treatment method. All it entails is sitting in front of a therapeutic light for at least 30 minutes a day.   If you think that you might be experiencing the symptoms of SAD it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider to determine what treatment, or combination of treatments, would be best for you. In addition to light therapy your doctor might prescribe an antidepressant or suggest cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) - a type of talk therapy.   Sources: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2013/02/seasonal-disorder.aspx http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/Jan2013/Feature1 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/seasonalaffectivedisorder.html

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