How Is Light A Good Answer to Seasonal Affective Disorder?

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How Is Light A Good Answer to Seasonal Affective Disorder?

For you and me, the number of hours during summer, winter, autumn and spring might not make any difference at all. Daylight hours can be much longer than night hours, as happens during certain times of the year. But believe it or not, some people actually suffer because of the lesser daylight hours.

Fewer daylight hours gives them something called seasonal affective disorder or SAD for short. It is a type of depression. SAD affects an estimated 10 percent of those who live in the Northern Latitude areas. One good example of an area is Florida, where an estimate of 2 percent of the population are said to be affected. Soon after seasonal affective disorder was first described as a medical condition, there was a great deal of doubt about the validity of SAD.

But now, after lots of research over the years, SAD has been generally accepted as a medical condition that affects people living in the Northern Latitude areas during the winter months. Until now, there had been many assumptions about why seasonal affective disorder occurs. One of them has to do with melatonin, the chemical compound that influences a person's sleep schedule. Melatonin is created by a person's body when there is hardly any light, pushing them towards bedtime.

It aids a person to sleep well. Light can subdue melatonin production. But there is a good solution. It is by using a fluorescent or LED light box. Let us say that a person who is affected by SAD sits in front of this light box for a minimum of half an hour every morning without fail. Then he may enjoy the benefits of the light due to blue wavelength light.

If the light-emitting diode or LED, metal halide or any other fluorescent light bulb has 5000K or higher color temperature, then it would definitely have a large blue light element. It should also have a high color rendering index of 90 or more. At that point, it is usually marketed as a full spectrum lamp.

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