Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects more people than you might think. About 6 percent of Americans suffer from the disorder, which causes irritability and depression, even lethargy.
While scientists don’t know for sure what causes SAD, they do know it typically worsens in the fall and winter when the days get shorter. They also know it’s more common in people who live in areas that experience even longer nights during these seasons due to geography. (The further north you live, the shorter your days are in the winter.) It’s also three times more likely to occur in women than in men.
There are a number of treatments available for SAD, including medications and psychotherapy. Researchers agree that one of the most effective treatments for seasonal affective disorder is light therapy. It’s safe, it’s fast, and it usually works very well to help SAD sufferers overcome the symptoms of depression that characterize the condition.
Unfortunately, the solution isn’t quite as simple as spending more time in the sun – after all, lack of sufficient sunlight during certain times of the year is believed to be the root of the problem in the first place. Physicians can prescribe special therapy lights, but people may experience limitations procuring them related to insurance coverage and other issues.
So, what’s a SAD sufferer to do?
Consider an infrared sauna with LED lights.
Just 15-20 minutes exposure each day to these intense, colored lights may help improve your symptoms. Infrared saunas use infrared light to directly warm your body, as opposed to traditional saunas which warm your body by heating the air around you. They deliver the benefits of a sauna – muscle pain relief, stress reduction, increased metabolism, easing of joint pain and stiffness, detoxification and much more – at a lower temperature than a traditional sauna.
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