Search This Blog

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Resetting the Body Clock

So very SAD


SAD

A wistful feeling comes over us in late autumn, as the last remaining leaves drop, morning frosts cover the ground, and the sun sets earlier each day. Hot cider and the warmth of a favorite old coat may be all you need to face the coming winter with good cheer, but for many people, fall melancholy deepens to winter depression.


Winter depression is still a mystery to scientists who study it. Many things, including brain chemicals, ions in the air, and genetics seem to be involved. But researchers agree that people who suffer from winter depression -- also known as "seasonal affective disorder," a term that produces the cute acronym SAD -- have one thing in common. They're particularly sensitive to light, or the lack of it.

"Research shows that bright light visual stimulation (light which enters the eyes), can change the timing of the body clock and its timing of sleep or awakening signals to the body. Thus, bright light therapy has been used to treat the range of disorders caused by a mis-timed body clock including shift work, jet lag, sleep onset and early morning insomnia mentioned above as well as winter depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD)."

"Probably the greatest use of bright light therapy is for the treatment of winter depression, especially in very northern countries which have little sunlight in the winter months. These sufferers appear to have delayed body clocks and benefit most from morning light therapy.

At present, the blue LED glasses are still experimental devices. They are not yet commercially available. The Flinders University owns the intellectual property rights and a provisional patent. A commercial partner to manufacture and market the devices under license is still being sought."

Seasonal Affective Disorder


See all Topics

No comments: