When the nights start to get longer and temperatures begin to fall, some individuals find that their moods darken. While many of us dislike the cold winter months, for people who suffer from seasonal adjustment disorder (SAD) it is more than just the winter blues. SAD is a form of depression that occurs during the autumn and winter. The good news for SAD sufferers is that symptoms can be alleviated by light therapy. “Happy Light” 2-in-1 halogen heaters can keep you cosy and boost your mood this winter.,What is SAD?,SAD is a form of depression that is triggered by the dark winter months. Alongside the typical symptoms of depression, such as loss of interest in social interaction, withdrawal and a feeling of hopelessness, SAD sufferers may also crave carbohydrates, gain weight and experience high levels of fatigue. Individuals with SAD often experience these low moods at the same time each year. SAD tends to begin in the autumn and lasts until the lighter evenings arrive in the spring.,How Does Light Therapy Work?,SAD can be treated with light therapy. The individual positions himself near a light box while he works or sits. The light box emits an intense white light that covers the full spectrum, similar to sunlight. The light emitted by a light box is much brighter than normal household lighting. This concentrated light helps to trigger biochemical reactions in the brain. These reactions release serotonin and inhibit the production of melatonin. Serotonin is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. Melatonin release is triggered by darkness and causes feelings of drowsiness. Bright light shining on the retina inhibits the production of melatonin in the body.,Individuals should sit in front of the light box for 30 to 60 minutes every day during the winter in order to derive benefit from this treatment. The time required will depend on the intensity of the light produced. The brighter and stronger the light, the less time is required. In general, the best time to use a light box is in the morning. This fits in with the body’s natural rhythms and minimises the risk of disrupting night-time sleep patterns.,What Other Conditions Benefit from Light Therapy?,Light therapy can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of jetlag and sleep disorders. It can also help shift workers to sleep better during their time away from work.,Your body can struggle to adjust to the alteration in time zones when you are travelling. The lengthening or shortening of the day can disrupt sleep patterns and cause extreme fatigue. This is known as jetlag. Light therapy can reduce the impact of jetlag by re-establishing the body’s natural sleep pattern. If you are travelling eastward, light therapy should be used in the mornings at your destination. If travelling westward, use light therapy in the evenings. This will help to reset your body clock.,Sleep patterns can be disrupted for a number of reasons. Stress and anxiety can cause the mind to race, causing sleep disturbance. An overloaded schedule can make it hard to switch off at night. An underlying health condition or lifestyle choices, such as drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Sitting in front of a light box for a period of time each day can help to trigger the release of chemicals in the body that boost the mood and aid sleep.,Working patterns that include night shifts can interfere with the body’s natural rhythms. Fatigue related to night shift working can lead to reduced concentration, accidents and absenteeism. In a study carried out at Rush University Medical Center in 2008, researchers found that the body’s natural rhythms can be adjusted to alleviate the problems caused by night shift working. One of the three strands of the treatment used was light therapy for specified periods during the day.,”Happy Light” Heaters:,”Happy Light” halogen heaters emit over 10,000 lux of white light that mimics the full spectrum of light emitted by the sun. Along with the light therapy benefits that this white light produces, the “Happy Light” heater also provides warmth for your surroundings. Offering 400 and 800 watt settings, this 2-in-1 heater is extremely versatile, giving you full control over the temperature that you choose.

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