Light therapy is being extremely successfully used for more than a decade to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or mild depression that typically occurs in the winter months.
But which is better for SAD – Blue light therapy or full spectrum?
Full spectrum light therapy (10,000 LUX) is long time proven to be effective for SAD and mild depression, and was also found equivalent to anti-depressant drugs.
But blue light therapy is also emerging as particularly beneficial for mood regulation. In recent studies, people who were exposed to blue light therapy also experienced significant improvements in their SAD symptoms.
Blue Light Therapy VS Full Spectrum – How They Work
Full spectrum and blue light do not work in the same way. Here’s how they work:
Full spectrum – Many scientific studies have proven the Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and decreases with less sun exposure.
This means that the longer you are exposed to bright light, the higher levels of Serotonin in your blood and the better your mood will be.
Blue Light – blue light strengthens and stimulates connections between areas of your brain that process emotion and language.
This means that blue light can help you to better handle emotional challenges and regulate mood over time.
Blue Light VS Full Spectrum – Side Effects
Full spectrum light is very bright and it’s recommended to not look at it directly and place light box accordingly, but there are no known side effects from full spectrum light.
Blue light therapy, on the other hand, may have a slightly greater risk in harming your eyes, that’s why it’s always recommended to purchase safety eye protection.
On the other hand, blue light is less intense and blue light boxes are typically smaller. For example, the popular Philips goLITE is only 7.4 x 7.1 x 4.1 inches ; 1.6 pounds.
Note: Blue light therapy is not recommended for bi-polar disorder sufferers.
Blue Light VS Full Spectrum – Treatment Time
Blue light therapy requires a little less treatment time yet is just as effective. 20 minutes are usually enough, while full spectrum usually requires 30 minutes treatment time.
Bright Light VS Blue Light – Scientific Evidence
Scientific studies do not provide a clear answer as to which wavelength is more effective for SAD. Some studies found that blue light therapy is even better; others found that they are equally effective.
The Next Step – Choosing the Right Home Device
Once you decide which one you want, the nest step if to make sure you get a high-quality home device, and I can help you do that right now.
Here’s a head to head comparison between the top 2 full spectrum desk lamps (Day Light Sky & Uplift Technologies)
Here’s my review for Lightphoria – The most budget friendly SAD light box
Now go and light up your life:)
Sources used for this article include:
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