Phototherapy is an effective form of treatment for SAD and Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Artificial light can lift mood and improve the quality of life for sufferers across the UK. The use of a light box may sound unconventional but this therapy has proven to be highly affective. There are a few guidelines to bear in mind.
Effective Light Box Usage
Throughout any phototherapy treatment a patient’s eyes should remain open. The benefits of phototherapy occur at the periphery of our vision. Don’t stare directly into the light box, rather place the light box to the side and look at a different point in the room. Read a book, use a computer or watch some television, but don’t stare directly into the light.
Light Exposure Can Be Varied
Healthcare professionals agree that patients begin with one ten to fifteen minute session of light exposure each day upon awakening. This can gradually be increased to thirty to forty five minutes every day, depending on the effectiveness of the treatment. The accepted therapy length is thirty minutes upon awakening each morning. A response to the therapy is typically indicated over the course of several weeks.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder
Those that suffer from interrupted sleep due to Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder will benefit from phototherapy. The therapy will help to assist anyone with an erratic sleep pattern. Should you suffer from drowsiness in the morning if you’re falling asleep too late or wake to early and feel overtired each day, the exposure to a light box will assist you in having a more regular sleep pattern – and improve the quality of your daily life.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
In the case of those suffering with SAD phototherapy should only be undertaken when there is little light. The effectiveness of phototherapy will be reduced throughout the summer months as we all enjoy long hours of sunlight however, in the winter months, when days are considerable shorter, light boxes are especially useful for those suffering with SAD.
Phototherapy is known to have very few side effects and considerable benefits for those that undertake it. For this reason it is considered to be a highly effective form of therapy.