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Beating Winter's Chill With Light Boxes

You probably recall a story I posted during the Christmas holidays about the various ways you can beat the "winter blues," a far milder version of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Exposing your skin to the sun regularly is probably the healthiest way to beat the blues, but with temperatures dropping like a rock in most areas and days being so much shorter in the Northern Hemisphere right now anyway, getting enough of it at all can be problematic.

A new study cites effective ways that are far cheaper than taking a winter vacation:

  • Sitting next to a light-emitting box for a half-hour a day.
  • Using a room air ionizer.

Researchers studied the effectiveness of both techniques over five successive winters on 140 women. Light boxes were the clear winner, according to the study, although air ionizers were also somewhat effective.

So much so, scientists recommended light boxes over SSRIs like Prozac or Zoloft because they have virtually no side effects and are much cheaper than prescription drugs over the long term, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. In my experience with light boxes, patients tend to feel a profound increase in energy and improvement in mood and sense of well being within two to three days. And all it takes is 15 minutes a day. That's why we've begun to sell Bio-Pure BP-12 light boxes on my Recommended Products page.

Yahoo News January 9, 2005

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