In my last post, I discussed how to pick a lightbox as a treatment for Seasonal Depression. This week I’m going to show you how to use a lightbox. Don’t have time to watch the video right now? No worries, just find the key notes from the video below.
Do I have to suffer from depression to use a light box?
No. Some people use a light box to reset their body clocks, to treat sleeping disorders, or even just ward of the risk of depressive symptoms in the winter. Additionally, using light therapy has not been shown to interact with antidepressant medication. So you can also use if you are or are not on antidepressant medication.
Sit just over an arm’s length away for maximum benefit. If you find that sitting this close to your lightbox strains your eyes (as it does with mine), you can sit further away. Just note you will need to use it longer. It’s suggested to use a lightbox for a minimum of 30 minutes a day to see an antidepressant effect. Again, if you sit further away, just be sure to keep it on a little bit longer. The further away you are from it, the longer you need to use.
When angling your light box, you want it to be at a slight angle, and not facing you directly. You do not want to be looking straight into it, just like you wouldn’t look straight into the sun.
You should use your lightbox first thing in the morning. I tend to use mine while eating breakfast, or checking my email in the morning. It’s very important not to use the lightbox later in the day, as you can actually reset your body clock at the wrong time, making it more difficult to fall asleep later in the day. So the earlier the better. The only exception to this rule is if you suffer from Bipolar Mood Disorder. In this case, you’ll actually want to use the lightbox later in the afternoon. Keep in mind, if you suffer from biploar disorder, using a lightbox can induce a manic episode. So be sure to track your moods and/or use a lightbox only under the care of a health care professional.
Have more questions that weren’t answered in this video? Ask away in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer each one.