- Introduction to Vegan Cooking
- How to stock your pantry
- 305C - Recipes
- Removing the Mystery Behind Disease - Recipes
- Healthy from Inside Out - Recipes
- Anti-Depression Recipes
- Beans and Legumes
- Dips, Dressings, and Sauces
- Drinks, Shakes, and Juices
- Meat Substitutes and Tofu
- Soups and Stews
- Vegetable Dishes
- Natural Remedies
- Contact Us
SAD and Bright Light Therapy
Publish date: Jan 4, 2011
Summary: Bright Light Therapy is as easy as taking a walk in the afternoon sun.
|Share with others:||
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a common condition in Northern Latitudes like the Scandinavian countries and Alaska. It occurs most often in winter when there is little to no sunlight, even at noon. The condition has identical symptoms to depression and resolves when individuals are exposed to bright light (2,000 to 10,000 lux) for at least 30 minutes a day. This amount of brightness can be achieved indoors by being exposed to a special bright light (such as the Hap-E light)i or by being outdoors in the United States (at similar latitudes) at least 30 minutes after sun-up and at least 30 minutes before sundown. The only mandatory exposed human surface to the light is the eyes.
Outdoor light is amazingly more intense than the normal indoor variety. Outdoor light can reach 3000 lux on a bright sunny day.ii A bright indoor environment may provide only 400 lux, less than 15 percent of daylight brightness.iii Bright light, such as sunlight, increases serotonin production in the daytime, which can in turn treat depression and fatigue.iv Bright light exposure in the day may also increase blood melatonin levels at night, which can create more restful and efficient sleep.v
Bright light therapy can also help restore the normal daily body rhythm called the circadian rhythm. If a person has problems with early morning awakening (3 to 5 a.m.) but needs more sleep, exposure to bright light in the early evening for 30 minutes can restore the normal sleep pattern. For the more common problem of not being able to fall asleep at bedtime (insomnia), combine with awakening too late in the morning, exposure to early morning bright light (6 to 8 a.m.) can restore the normal sleep cycle.vi Utilizing morning-light therapies for depression bring superior results to evening-light therapy, although evening therapy is better than no light therapy at all.vii
I usually recommend an exercise program that is outdoors in the morning sun. This is not possible for everyone to do in winter when the sun comes up later. For these people I recommend a lunch time outdoor exercise period such as a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Others who are fortunate enough to have a south side office window that brightens their room enough that indoor light is unnecessary, can often get by without taking the afore-mentioned outdoor exercise precautions.
However, there is one additional important benefit of outdoor exercise to consider—negative ions. Fresh country air has negative ions that have been demonstrated to both treat and prevent depression.viii
i. M. Terman, "Light treatment," in M. H. Kryger, T. Roth, W. C. Dement (eds), Principles and practice of sleep medicine second edition (Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 1994): 286-300.
ii. R. J. Reiter, J. Robinson, "Back in Sync," Melatonin: Your Body’s Natural Wonder Drug (New York, NY: Bantam Books): 161.
iv. M. L. Rao, B. Muller-Oerlinghausen, et al., "The influence of photo-therapy on serotonin and melatonin in non-seasonal depression," Pharmacopsychiatry (May 1990): 155-158.
v. M. L. Laakso ML, T. Porkka-Heiskanen T, et al., "Twenty-four-hour patterns of pineal melatonin and pituitary and plasma prolactin in male rats under ‘natural’ and artificial lighting conditions," Neuroendocrinology (September 1988): 308-313.
vi. D. R. Wagner, "Sleep disorders; disorders of the circadian sleep-wake cycle," Neurologic Clinics (August 1996): 651.
vii. M. Terman, "A controlled trial of timed bright light and negative air ionization for treatment of winter depression," Arch Gen Psychiatry (October 1988): 875-882.
This article is adapted from the book Depression: The Way Out by Dr. Neil Nedley. Visit Dr. Nedley's website
Healthy Living Resources
Spirituality and Health
What's the right kind of Water for my Health?
Learn the eight laws of health that lead to an abundant life.
Dr. Rainda gives good advice on balanced living.
Why is building your blood important? What does it mean to cleanse your blood? The answers to these questions could prove instrumental in guiding you to better health.
Read about four important parenting tips from Ellen White to help develop a healthy family unit.
Moderate, monitored fasting can be part of a healthy detox regime.
Starting the day right involves a hearty, healthy breakfast.
How to Achieve a Perfect Combination
Learn what young coconut kefir is, in addition to all the wonderful benefits you will reap when consuming this ever so fabulous health tonic.
Everyone experiences stress. We cannot heal from stress without understanding it first, and learning to deal with it head on.
What is Candida? Candida is the short name used to describe yeast overgrowth in the body. The technical term is Candidiasis. Like their &...
Every private home should have charcoal on hand as a ready antidote for poisoning, and as a cleansing agent in infectious and various metabolic disturbances.
A healthy heart is crucial for a healthy life. So why don't we take better care of our hearts?
We keep our muscles strong and effective in the same way that we exercise our spiritual gifts and "prayer muscles" to keep them free from atrophy.
From burns to weak bones, raw honey can help.
Written in 1936 and still used as an essential reference today. Book Review.
Melons are more than just a sweet, juicy treat.
Learn the importance of iron in the diet and how to get enough iron the vegetarian way.
Learn why you should make chia seeds a part of your diet.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments. Added to bath water, it has been used to relieve colds, back pain, ease muscle tension and treat certain skin conditions.
A simple green algae food, chlorella, can help with dozens of health conditions.
Learn how to take care of your biggest organ: your skin.
Several charts show best time to plant vegetables in accordance with blooming time of perennials.
A helpful chart for those wanting to grow their own garden vegetables.
Chart showing how to space your vegetables in the garden and how to care for your plants.
Is soy a smart food to include in a healthy diet?
Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and magnesium deficiency is a major contributing factor.
Can plants really communicate? Ask Dr. Mercola.
Carrageenan, a food additive made from seaweed, could be harmful.
Mammogram screening is becoming increasingly popular in North America. But is it the safest way to screen for breast cancer?
Jean Handwerk explains the connection between modern wheat and many averse health effects.
Is chocolate really that bad? If so, what are the alternatives?
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
It has been shown that a vegan diet can provide all the body’s needs and can be followed without fear.
Does Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo align with Scripture and science?
Even if you don’t feel sick, your digestion may be poor enough to slowly poison your system. No, this isn’t simply a theory, but the conclusion from years of laboratory testing and clinical experience. Autointoxication is real.
The fever is perhaps the most overtreated health symptom of all.
Tony de Morais explains the wide spectrum of uses for clay.
In 1971 President Nixon and Congress declared war on cancer. So what's happened in the 40 years since? After weeding out the hype and filling in the actual statistics, it turns out, not much.
Can anything be done to prevent common illnesses?
Don't let dentists put this poison in your mouth!
A look at the health benefits of potatoes.
Dr. Roy Swank found that the diets of those with Multiple Sclerosis can make a difference in their prognosis.
Take a closer look at the safety of midwife-assisted home births versus hospital births.
When you open the fridge to grab a snack, consider simple, healthy alternatives to sugar-filled munchies and beverages.
A quick reference list of healthful, dairy-free ways to get your calcium.
Find information on the products that Jeanie Davis recommends in Healthy from Inside Out
Learn the best, natural mixture to use when cleaning fresh veggies and fruit.
When shopping for groceries, check the labels for carrageenan, a thickening agent scientists are blaming for various gastrointestinal illnesses.
Food borne illness is on the increase worldwide. In most cases, animal products are implicated as the main source of infection.
Health is about more than just diet or exercise.
Inject some fun into your food routine with these healthy meal ideas.
Pain pills aren't always the best way to deal with aches and soreness. Various therapies—including vibrational therapy—can have you on the road to recovery.
Some fruits and vegetables should not be eaten together, as they can react and cause digestive issues.
Have you considered carob as an alternative to chocolate? See for yourself the impact chocolate can have on your health.
Learn about the acidity or alkalinity of your favorite foods.
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction.
Is consuming alcohol ever a good idea?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year.
Maybe vegetarianism is the best option after all...
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Diabetes is spreading across North America. Is there anything we can do to stop this killer disease?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
There are now over 3,000 additives in our foods. Incredibly, only 7% have any nutritional value.
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Vaccination began 200 years ago as an experimental life-saving medical tool. While it originally had some merit, today it has become perhaps the leading cause of death and disability among our children.
Music enters the brain through its emotional regions, which include the temporal lobe and the limbic system.
Plant medicine safety pale in comparison to the promotional and safety practices of the mainstream drug industry.
If God made the world, and our bodies, then the Creation story can give us clues about how we should live for optimum health. But how did what God called "good" transform into a dog-eat-dog world of carnivores, thorns, parasites, and other ugly aspects of Creation?
If God made everything so good, why are there so many problems? Are thorns and weeds evolved adaptations or changes in Creation?
This article uses pieces of nature, such as the genome, the cell, and even the eye, as evidence that God is the Creator of all things.
It seems clear that organisms change over time. But why? Is it evolution?
Some call it cacophony and are driven to madness; others find it the most beautiful event in all of creation—the dawn chorus of the birds.
There are many types of water available today. Some are better for your health than others.
Learn why drinking at least 2.5L of water per day is vital to your body's health at any age.
Fluoride in drinking water has been linked to decline in IQ and may cause health issues.