Light therapy, why to use it and how it will improve your happiness

The Power of Light Therapy

You may have noticed that with darkness comes a lower mood. Whether this is during sunless winters or in the evenings, a lack of natural light is positively correlated with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and other types of depression, as well as sleep disorders. Sunlight is an absolute necessity for keeping our circadian rhythm and serotonin levels in check, as such, light therapy was created.

Unless we make a consistent effort to get out and soak up the sun as much as possible, we are perpetually indoors in the modern world. The dim settings of our offices and homes don’t offer us the light exposure that is proven to fortify our mental and physical wellbeing. In the age of the pandemic this is particularly impactful as we have no choice but to stay inside the vast majority of the time.

There’s not much we can do about the sun deciding not to shine or the fact that we have to be inside, but we can make efforts to increase our light exposure in order to mimic the biological effects of natural light. Light therapy, otherwise known as phototherapy, is a treatment in which you are exposed to an artificial light source that triggers the same mood-boosting hormones in your body that sunlight would. ‘Lux’ are units of illuminance, and our bodies need 1000 lux to reap any benefit. The average lit room has only 600 lux, so it is necessary to invest in a light therapy lamp that is specifically designed to imitate sunlight.

Light therapy lamps are noninvasive, safe, and convenient alternatives to traditional treatments for depressive and sleep disorders. Even if you do not suffer from either affliction, light therapy is proven to improve wellbeing all round and can benefit everybody. Just 15 minutes of exposure as you wake up will boost your mood and alertness to help you kickstart your day by stimulating the neurochemicals that are necessary for elevated mood and energy. It is important to make use of your light therapy lamp on a daily basis. Like many things, consistency is key to using this incredible tool effectively.

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