Friday Faves: Light Therapy Lamp

Friday Faves is a series of bi-weekly blog posts about my favorite products, most of which I use during my everyday life. The following product endorsement is based 100% on my own personal opinions.

Happiness & Sunshine –

As you might remember from a previous post titled Red Tulips & Watercolors (click here to read more), I’ve recently realized spring is not my favorite season. This realization has only been more cemented as the week continues to bring cold breezes and cloudy days. And apparently snow next week… (What the heck?)

With lots of chilly, cloudy days and indoor time, I tend to get a case of “the blues.” Although I have not been medically diagnosed, I have personally diagnosed myself with a case of SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder. (Isn’t that almost a bad joke of an acronym? Really…SAD?)

Luna on A Rainy Day
Rain Splatter

If you’re wondering about, or have never heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, here’s how the Mayo Clinic describes the condition:

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

Now you might be thinking…shouldn’t you see a doctor about that? Yes, if my self-prescribed (and researched) treatment plan ever stops working, I am fully aware I should see a doctor. But this treatment plan has proven very successful over the past 2–3 years. Not to mention, I get to keep $25–$70 I would otherwise have to part with for a doctor’s appointment. Besides, I’m not having to take any medications that have who-knows-what kind of side effects / levels of effectiveness.

Rainy WIndow Plants & Rain Puddle

You might have noticed earlier that the description says, “Less often…in the spring.” And…well, it’s spring! However, I don’t believe I have the less common form. And here’s why: I’m very good a remembering to use my treatment during the winter…but then it’s spring and the weather tricks me into thinking hotter days are ahead. So, naturally, I forget to do my treatment. And with crazy spring weather like this…no wonder my mood is what it is!

Light Therapy Lamps –

Light Therapy Lamp Off

Like I said, I always forget how important my treatment plan is for my happiness…until I notice my happiness seems to be dissipating. (Poof!) So, in an effort to reacquaint myself with my treatment plan, I’ve recently done some research on the matter. Take it for what you will, I am not a doctor, nor have I been medically trained in the matter. However, I do base my treatment on following and adhering to the recommended guidelines as set out by professionals in the field.

Alas, what you’ve all been waiting for, my treatment plan! Thirty minutes a day spent with a light therapy lamp! You don’t need a prescription to buy a light therapy lamp, but like everything…they recommend you consult your doctor before purchasing or undergoing treatment. (For liability purposes mostly! But…if you have underlying psychological conditions it does sound like you should schedule that appointment.)

Sun Touch Plus

Once again, according to Mayo Clinic, there are two criteria you should look for when purchasing a light therapy lamp:

  • 10,000-lux light box
  • UV free

I bought my Nature Bright Sun Touch Plus® light therapy lamp online from amazon.com about 2–3 years ago, and I love it! If you’re interested, click here to check it out. It appears to be nearly $20 less expensive on amazon than from the company website. However, the company—Nature Bright—does have a very nice website with more products if you’re interested.

Negative Ionizer

Overall, the lamp is lightweight and has stood the test of time. It meets both the 10,000-lux and UV free requirements, plus I haven’t had to replace any of the bulbs. The lamp has also survived being jostled around more than a few times, and nothing has broken. It’s has an average length power cord for plugging in. Also worth mentioning is the optional negative ionizer which turns on with a click of a button. To read more about negative ions, click here to read a quick article. Lastly, my favorite feature is the built-in timer with 15 minute increments from 15–60 minutes.

The Treatment Plan –
Light Therapy Lamp On

Using the light therapy lamp for SAD treatment is quite simple. Mayo Clinic says it best:

“During light therapy sessions, you sit or work near a light box. To be effective, light from the light box must enter your eyes indirectly. You can’t get the same effect merely by exposing your skin to the light.

While your eyes must be open, don’t look directly at the light box, because the bright light can damage your eyes. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations and the manufacturer’s directions.

Light therapy requires time and consistency. You can set your light box on a table or desk in your home or office. That way you can read, use a computer, write, watch TV, talk on the phone or eat while having light therapy. Stick to your therapy schedule and don’t overdo it.”

Light Therapy Lamp Timer
As you can see, light therapy is easy. The hardest part is remembering to press the button for your 20–30 minute treatment session. Some articles say the treatment is most effective when done consistently in the morning. But I’ve also used it in the afternoon and found it to be helpful. For me, the optimal settings have been when I’m working on my computer, or when I’m doing my at-home workouts.

Lastly, if you’re wondering if light therapy is a year-round treatment, Mayo Clinic has the best answer:

“Generally, most people with seasonal affective disorder begin treatment with light therapy in the early fall, when it typically becomes cloudy in many regions of the country. Treatment usually continues until spring, when outdoor light alone is sufficient to sustain a good mood and higher levels of energy…[However,] you may notice symptoms during prolonged periods of cloudy or rainy weather during other seasons. [In which case,] you can adjust your light treatment based on the timing and duration of your symptoms.”

10000 Lux Bulbs
If you’ve noticed you’re feeling a little down when the sun’s not shining, you might have SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder. Be proactive about your happiness, and consult your physician, and/or do your own research. Light therapy might be just what you need—I know it’s made a huge difference in my life!


Credits:

– Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Mayo Clinic
– Light Therapy: Mayo Clinic
– Light & Ion Therapy Lamp: Nature Bright

Disclaimer: These posts are not sponsored by the featured product brands; nor am I to be held liable for any statements or recommendations deemed inaccurate or unreliable stated here.

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