seasonal affective disorder winter light

Light Solutions For Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, often referred to as SAD, is a condition that is getting a lot more attention lately. People are aware of the negative consequences of not getting sunlight. Yet while many people think that sunlight causes cancer, they don’t realize that the long wavelength of the Sun simultaneously detoxifies you from the damage from UVB. And it’s not only about the amount of vitamin D because vitamin D is absorbed within 30 minutes of sun exposure.

Blue light

Florescent lights, computers, cell phones, televisions, e-readers, and more all contain blue light. This light wave range is not helpful for those with SAD. Unfortunately the winter season is also when we are more likely to be exposed to these light waves because the days are shorter and we tend to spend more time indoors. We are also more likely to curl up on the couch with a good movie or another electronic device, making our exposure to this light wave even more significant. 

One way to reduce some of this blue light exposure is to wear special glasses which block this light wave. Although many new devices have apps or programs that can block the blue light, it may not be enough to significantly cut your exposure. Therefore glasses can be a useful option.

Red Light

Light from the Sun, predominantly the red and orange light, is a beneficial thing, especially during the shorter, darker days of winter. The reason most people usually notice a difference in their mood after spending time outside in the sunshine is due to the red and orange light waves that come from the sun. The more intense the sunlight is the more powerful the benefit’s are going to be. It’s important to note that a short period of intense sunlight is actually much better than a longer period of sunlight with cloudy weather.

In addition to improving mood, sunlight can increase thyroid function; thyroid hormone is required to properly detoxify your liver. When you increase thyroid function you also regulate blood sugar and help support the body to secrete adequate amounts of stomach acid. This means that incorporating light therapy through the sun or the right types of lights is highly supportive of good health.

Getting the right light

SAD is a diagnosis that indicates you’re not getting enough of the correct spectrum of light. To remedy this, if you’re in a climate that doesn’t give you access to sunlight, you can purchase special lights and use those for a period of time every day.

The best option for SAD, however, is sunlight. This is due to its long wavelength and the better concentration of red and orange light waves. 

While there are other pieces to the healing puzzle, such as organic foods and adequate sleep, light therapy is something that many people forget about. It appears to be very helpful with health problems, energy, mood, and anxiety.

Nancy Farber is a strong advocate of light therapy and it’s benefits; she believes that food and light are the keys to healing. She can be found online at Benefits Of Light.

About Mira

Mira Dessy is The Ingredient Guru. A holistic nutrition professional, author, and a popular public speaker, she knows that it's not just what you eat, but what's in what you eat. She is the author of The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in their food. Dessy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner whose mission is to educate and empower consumers. She curates the Lean Clean Green Subscription box, the premier, organic, earth-friendly, healthy, sustainable subscription box which can be found online at