Everything to know about bright light therapy

Do you suffer from the lack of light?

  • During the dark season, most people suffer from the symptoms of winter blues, which is triggered by the shortness of daylight hours.
  • Around 12 percent of Finns suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The less severe form of SAD is sub-clinical SAD, which is also much more common, with around 27% of Finns experiencing it. Only 10% of Finns feel that seasonal changes have no impact on their alertness.
  • Symptoms of sub-clinical SAD or the winter blues include:
    lack of energy, daytime tiredness, social withdrawal, annoyance, sadness, craving for carbohydrates, and weight gain.

Bright light therapy, sports and healthy diet can help with SAD.

How does bright light work?

Bright light therapy has been studied and used to treat the winter blues for over 30 years. Studies show that bright light therapy relieves winter blues symptoms by 60-90%.

Studies also show that bright light therapy helps increase daytime energy levels and alertness and maintain good work flow and motivation.

Bright light therapy helps maintain a stable circadian rhythm and makes waking up easier during the dark season.

The body’s circadian rhythm is regulated by melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland. The body produced this hormone normally during the night. Melatonin is a bit like the body’s own sleeping pill: when there is melatonin in the body, the person will feel tired.

Morning light is the strongest stimulus outside the body that regulates the circadian rhythm. Of all the factors that regulate the circadian rhythm, the function of melatonin is best understood. Research shows clearly that light strongly affects the secretion of melatonin.

When waking up on a summer morning, light stops the production of melatonin. In winter, however, it is still dark when it is time to get up. If melatonin is produced in the morning after waking up (as is the case in the dark season, i.e. in the autumn and winter), the body clock goes out of sync, which affects the circadian rhythm. This leads to the “winter blues”, which normally last from October to March. Symptoms include craving for carbohydrates and sugary foods, difficulty waking up, excessive sleepiness, lethargy, and tiredness during the day. So the shortage of daylight hours is the main culprit behind the winter blues.

Summer morning light - bright light therapy - is needed on autumn and winter mornings to stop melatonin production and keep circadian rhythm in sync. When the production of melatonin is stopped with bright light therapy in the morning, melatonin production will start at the right time in the evening. Bright light therapy is most efficient in the morning right after waking.

Innolux bright light devices

Innolux bright light devices are medical devices certified by DNV GL Nemko Presafe, which guarantees their efficiency and safety of use. The devices meet all requirements for good bright light therapy:
all our bright light devices produce safe, UV-free, and pleasant light therapy of 10 000 lux.

Innolux’s multi-functional bright light devices are designed for year-round use. Innolux is a pioneer in light and design. Our devices combine scientifically proven bright light therapy and stylish design. They bring greater wellbeing and energy to every home and office.