Glaring benefits from light

Lucie Christine By Lucie Christine, 7th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Youth & Beauty>Beauty & Skin Care

How light exposure may help to overcome various mood and sleep disorders.

Heliotherapy, a new way to cope with seasonal or sleep disorder

Because of decreasing daylight, you feel down. In order to lift your spirits and double your energy, use heliotherapy or phototherapy, both terms are synonyms.
It's the best remedy against seasonal disorders.
Chronobiologists have proved it: some insufficient exposure to daylight impairs the entire biologic rhythm. Thus we are going to speak about seasonal affective disorder. Among sensitive persons, this state leads to seasonal depression, which can be alleviated by heliotherapy. Medical phototherapy has developed and is widely used by specialists presently. This therapy also works for delayed sleep phase disorder. For instance, have you already experienced these awful nights, during which you can not sleep before 2 or 3 a.m.? I just did last night and it was awful! You just want to go to hell if it makes you sleep, right?
When it happens too often, something in your circadian rhythm has gone wrong. Heliotherapy may be one of the remedies to be applied.
Today, phototherapy is developed for other aims that medical ones. It's possible to find lamps, whose quality is close to those used in hospitals or in the medical field. They are easy to use, they are not too expensive (around GBP 120-240 in average). Nevertheless there are a few precautions to be taken when you are intending to buy one.
Choosing the right lamp.
-Checkthat the lamp you are going to buy is certified according to the 93/42EEC directive. The EEC logo in itself is not enough, the four digits must follow this logo.
-Be sure that the lamps emit 5,000 to 10,000 lux, that's the required average intensity.
-Choose a model which emits a white light relatively warm as it will be more comfortable for your retina.
-Choose a board lamp instead of a portable one, thus light is widely emitted and is less blinding.
-Be cautious with heliotherapy googles, as they emit close to your retina. As far as I know, these devices are not yet certified medically and need to be checked by an ophthalmologist.

Some useful values

In summer, the sun emits a light amounting to 10,000lux. In the best lit houses, light intensity amounts hardly to 500 lux.

How does light interfere with our brain?

Without natural light, our circadian rhythm works upside down. At the brain level, melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, is produced during daytime from serotonin secretion. Thus we feel lethargic during daytime and insomniac in night. So light exposure plays a main role to recover and maintain a natural biological rhythm.

Time of exposure
30 mn of exposure on mornings at 10,000 lux are advised.
or 60 mn at 5,000 lux.


Chronobiology, Circadian Clock, Circadian Rhythm, Daylight, Heliotherapy, Phototherapy, Season Change, Seasonal Affective Disorder

Meet the author

author avatar Lucie Christine
Since my youngest age, I have been attracted by reading, writing and foreign languages. I strived to create an independent job which links everything: interpreter -translator and writer

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