For most people, light therapy is most effective when it’s done early in the morning, after you first wake up. Your doctor can help you determine the light therapy schedule that works best.
When should you use light therapy?
Start light therapy in the early morning, as soon as possible after awakening (between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.). Response usually starts in a few days, and by two weeks the symptoms should be definitely improving. Most people need to continue light therapy throughout the winter until the springtime.
How often should you use a light therapy lamp?
Light therapy is usually prescribed for 30 minutes to 2 hours a day, depending on the intensity of the light used and on whether you are starting out or have been using it for a while.
Can you use light therapy lamps all day?
Light therapy requires individuals to sit in front of the lamp (about 14 to 24 inches away from your face) daily for 20 to 30 minutes. Researchers recommend to not go over 30 minutes a day. The light therapy causes a chemical change in the brain to produce less melatonin and more serotonin to help improve your mood.
What time of day should I use a SAD lamp?
Many experts recommend using a SAD lamp first thing in the morning. Your doctor might also recommend that you use it during the day. Keep in mind that more isn’t always better. Overuse of a SAD lamp can produce insomnia or other side effects.
How often should I use LED light therapy at home?
You’ll need to go back once a week for up to 10 weeks, then only once every few months. At-home LED devices can be used at your convenience without having to go to any appointments.
Can you use light therapy too much?
It is possible to get too much light, which can produce discomfort including feeling “wired,” such as after consuming too much caffeine. Working with an experienced clinician, and starting with general guidelines, many SAD patients arrive at a “dose” that works well for them.
Can you overdo LED light therapy?
What Are the Risks? Red light therapy is generally considered safe, even though researchers aren’t exactly sure how and why it works. And there are no set rules on how much light to use. Too much light may damage skin tissue, but too little might not work as well.
What are the side effects of light therapy?
The most common side effects of light therapy include:
- Eyestrain or visual disturbances.
- Agitation or feeling “wired.”
Does bright light therapy work for insomnia?
Light therapy is not considered a cure for insomnia, depression, or other conditions. However, it can be helpful in improving your energy levels and helping you fall asleep or wake up easier. It can take a few days to a few weeks21 to start to notice the effects.
Is light therapy good for anxiety?
If people are exposed to light in the morning that mimics the wavelengths of daylight, they become better at coping with anxiety-provoking experiences. The light simply improves the communication between the regions of the brain that are central to our handling of emotions such as stress and anxiety.
Do SAD lamps work with eyes closed?
Can I get light therapy with my eyes closed? The positive effects of most light therapy studies have been done with the eyes open. The standard 10,000 lux for ½ hour session assumes your eyes are open.
Do sunlamps work for depression?
The light from a sun lamp is believed to have a positive impact on serotonin and melatonin. These chemicals help control your sleep and wake cycle. Serotonin also helps reduce anxiety and improve mood. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression.
Do SAD lamps give you vitamin D?
Even though it’s a light-based therapy, sun lamps don’t impact vitamin D production. Be sure to get your vitamin D through your diet and/or supplements as your doctor advises.
Are SAD lamps bad for your skin?
Most people can use light therapy safely. The recommended light boxes have filters that remove harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, so there’s no risk of skin or eye damage for most people.
Does vitamin D help with SAD?
In several studies, light therapy has had beneficial effects on SAD symptoms similar to those of medication or CBT. Low levels of vitamin D, caused by low dietary intake of the vitamin or not enough exposure to sunshine, have been found in people with SAD.