The most common uses for bright light therapy include seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders, such as insomnia and jet lag. The therapy typically involves sitting near a 10,000 lux full-spectrum lighting device for at least 30 minutes during the day. It is generally considered optimal when done in the morning.
By exposing yourself to a bright light in the morning, you can suppress the residual morning melatonin production that would otherwise worsen daytime fatigue & grogginess. Additionally, it may help to increase serotonin as well, which can improve mood.
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Seasonal Depression (↓)
For seasonal affective disorder (SAD): sit close (~16-24 inches) to a 10,000 lux light therapy lamp for 20-45 minutes every morning during the Fall/Winter seasons.
For sleep disorders: sit close to a 10,000 lux light therapy lamp for 30-60 minutes every morning until symptoms resolve.
While exposing yourself to light is generally very safe, some people have reported adverse effects including eyestrain, headache, nausea, irritability, and mania (in those with bipolar disorder).
If you have bipolar disorder, it is important to note that light therapy may induced mania. If you would like to attempt using it for the depressive phase of bipolar disorder, please only do so under the care of your mental health provider.