Len Rome’s Local Health: Light therapy health benefits

Daybreak

(WYTV)- Starting to feel a bit down with the dark winter closing in?

Turn on a light. It’s called light therapy.

Doctors say it’s good for what they call seasonal affective disorder or SAD. You can flip the switch on feeling down during the winter months by giving this light therapy a try.

“Light therapy is one of one of our effective treatments that is actually really easily tolerated. Rarely do people have side effects of it. And it’s a pretty portable type of intervention that we can do,” said Dr. Craig Sawchuk of the Cleveland Clinic.

Light therapy affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Use a 10,000 lux light within an hour after getting out of bed for about 20 minutes. Put the light an arm’s length away, don’t stare at it but keep your eyes open.

Have breakfast, a cup of coffee, watch TV, work online with the light off to the side.

You can continue light therapy into the spring or whenever your mood starts to naturally improve.

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