The Best Light Therapies To Combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 09/11/2011 18:06 GMT Updated: 09/01/2012 10:12 GMT

Mindful of the 7% of Brits currently in the throes of the 'winter depression' or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), we've compiled the best light therapy treatments available in the UK, to help bring a ray of sunshine to these otherwise dark days.

Following the lead from our Scandinavian counterparts - who have light cafes where SAD sufferers can go and top up their vitamin D with their cafe latte - we now have a much wider choice of SAD-beating therapies at our fingers tips.

Only today scientists discovered a new gadget which helps battle the SAD blues by shining a light, via an earphone, into the ear canal.

As 'light cafes' have not yet made it to Britain, here is a selection of effective light therapies to help combat SAD, that you can use in the comfort of your own home, or even at your local spa.

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  • Lightbox

    This light box from Lumie is a great way to absorb (safe) light rays into your body. Ideal to use for 30 to 60 minutes at home, it helps treat circadian rhythm disorders, the main cause of SAD. <a href="" target="_hplink"> Lumie</a>.

  • Light Spa Therapy

    The Sun Meadow room, at the K West Spa, London, is a specialist light therapy which helps alleviate the symptoms of SAD. While you enjoy a relaxing massage, a UV lamp will shine on you from above, boosting the body's Vitamin D levels. <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="" target="_hplink">K West Spa</a>.

  • Light Ear Phones

    The Valkee ear phones <a href="" target="_hplink">hit the headlines</a> recently as it was successfully trialed on SAD sufferers. It works by sending light sensors through the ear phones into the brain. <strong>Website: </strong><a href="" target="_hplink">Valkee</a>.

  • Light Mask

    A Rio Light Mask works by sending light pulses through the eyes via a soft mask. These pulses can be controlled by a remote and switches off automatically after 15 minutes. <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="" target="_hplink">Light Mask</a>.

  • Natural Light Alarm Clock

    This gentle light is designed to ease you out of bed. The soft rising light wakes you gradually and has a choice of 4 natural and pleasant wake-up sounds. You can add new sounds and music via USB. <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="" target="_hplink">Philips</a>.