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Light Therapy for Depression

By on October 10, 2015
Cancun sunrise 9.5.15.aspx Photo by Alexa Harrelson

When I first looked into this, a light table started at $300. and went up if you wanted it to wake you up in the morning. I didn’t think I could afford that.

Prices have gone down.

I like that this article shows options that you can start with that are not expensive and you can move up.

I have downloaded one of the apps for my phone and if it makes a difference, I will let you know.

I just wonder. Will I be facing the phone in the morning. LOL


How much light are you getting?

Light therapy can treat more than just winter depression, though that’s the main use. Here’s why: the amount of light reaching your eyeball from interior lighting is far less than the amount from the real thing. So unless you are outside much of the day in the winter, you are relying on electric light for your photons (in summer, there is so much light, most people get enough, even if they are indoors during their work hours).

Start with a dawn simulator

Hold on a minute, before you go tearing off looking at light boxes (discussed below) . . . There is a far simpler way to do light therapy, which is even cheaper and so far has not been associated with hypomania or mania (which light boxes can cause).   It doesn’t work for everyone. But “treatment” is over by the time you wake up. No sitting for 30 minutes stuck in front of a light box.   If it doesn’t work, you might still like it (wouldn’t you rather wake up in room full of light than wake to an alarm and have to — whamo — turn on a bright light? ugh).

What is a “Dawn Simulator”? This is simply a device to gradually increase the light in your bedroom in the morning, while you are still asleep. Try this: close your eyes and look toward the light by which you’re reading this. You can tell where the light is, even with your eyes closed. A dawn simulator gradually turns on your bedside lamp in the morning, before you wake up, so that your retina (not you — you’re still asleep!) “sees” the light show up at the time you choose, increasing gradually just as natural sunlight does, over about 30-45 minutes. It’s really nothing more than a timer and a rheostat (a device to slowly change electrical current) hooked to your bedside lamp. Note that this approach does not require a “light box”.

Why is the gradual appearance of morning light potentially “antidepressant”? Think of……

To read the rest of the article, Click Here.

One Comment

  1. Alexa

    November 10, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    The free android phone apps for the light alarm did not work for me. My phone will not open up to show the app, from it’s sleep mode. I thought it might be the sleep function, so I changed the length of time until it goes to sleep. That did not make a difference.
    Both apps I tried, did not have a way to test it by setting it for a few minutes. I thought this was odd. One I had to set for 24 hours in advance. Then I had to see if it would work and try it again. The other would only set for AM. What if I was a daytime sleeper and slept in a basement or darkened room? Curiouser and curiouser.

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