Natural Treatment for Depression- Light Therapy for Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder

The days are getting shorter, it's colder and darker outside How many of you all are feeling a little bit more depressed. In this episode, I'm, going to teach you how light impacts your brain and influences your mood, and I'm, also going to teach you how you can use light therapy as a natural non-medicinal way to treat seasonal depression, which is Also known as winter blues or SAD and how rigorous research has shown that light therapy can be as effective as antidepressant medication at treating non-seasonal depression.

, Oh and if you'd, like to learn more natural research-backed ways to treat depression and anxiety check out. My online course Change Your Brain 10 natural research-backed ways to treat depression and anxiety.

The course link is in the description.. This video is sponsored by Carex. Carex makes quality natural light, lamps that are used by medical professionals and these mimic natural sunlight to improve mood, enhance sleep schedules and treat depression, so go to carex.

com and use the discount code Nutshell20 to get 20 % off your purchase. In my 20s, I spent a couple of years working in wilderness and adventure therapy programs with troubled teenagers and as staff. Our shifts were eight days on six days off.

So during our shift we lived outside in simple tarp shelters and over time we noticed that our bodies started to adapt to outdoor living. So, for example, because we didn't shower very often, our scalps just naturally started to produce less grease or after being in the wilderness.

For a while. We'd, start to smell like dirt, and we'd notice that the bugs didn't go for us as much or another example is when we'd, show up for our first day on shift out In the desert, the temperatures were over 100 degrees, it would just seem unbearable, but within a few days of living out there our bodies would adapt and the heat didn't bother us so much anymore, and I personally noticed that during the hot summer Months I had a lot less of an appetite and in the cold winter months, when I needed to burn calories to heat myself, I naturally had a much bigger appetite, but one of the biggest changes that I noticed, while I was living in the wilderness, was that My body started to naturally sink to the cycles of light outside.

So in the summer, during the long bright days I didn't need as much sleep. I would only sleep six or seven hours, but I would still wake up in the morning. Just like full of energy, and I couldn't stay in my sleeping bag any longer than that and in the winter months we would still camp outside in these simple tarp shelters.

Even if there was a couple feet of snow on the ground and my body naturally adapted to that as well, so your body cranks out more heat in the winter and naturally I had a little bit less energy and I was able to stay warm and stay Wrapped up in my sleeping bag during those long winter nights - and I was probably sleeping 11 or 12 hours a night and I was able to spend like 13 hours in my sleeping bag now during the summer.

That would have driven me crazy spending that much time just laying around. So, despite all the other factors that may have been present, it was clear to me that light was having an impact on my day-to-day work, and my energy levels in the wilderness.

Research shows that the light that enters our eyes gives information to our brain as to what our energy level should be light. Sets our body's, clock which is called the circadian rhythm and changes in light levels can affect hormones like melatonin and serotonin.

So sunlight cues, these special areas of our retinas. This triggers the brain to release serotonin and serotonin, is a neurotransmitter associated with happiness. Serotonin also impacts sexual functioning, sleep memory, learning, digestion and other functions throughout the body decreased.

Sun exposure is connected to a drop in serotonin levels, and this can lead to depression with a seasonal pattern. You may be familiar with serotonin, because some of the most commonly used antidepressant medications like prozac these work by impacting serotonin, but you can also trigger the release of serotonin by increasing your exposure to daylight or bright lights.

Another hormone melatonin. This is a key to our body's, sleep-wake cycle. Our bodies respond to darkness by producing melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. When we're exposed to sunlight in the morning, melatonin is produced sooner and it helps us sleep more easily come night time.

Regular sunlight exposure during the day is essential for a synchronized, melatonin production and a healthy sleep and wake schedule, and this is really important because sleep problems are directly linked to depression.

When we can improve sleep, research shows it can improve depression, symptoms, 87 percent of the time light impacts our body in other ways too. The sun's. Uv rays have been linked to vitamin d production.

Lower blood pressure and research shows that people generally have lower mood and less energy on cloudy days than they do on sunny ones, and this isn't like a brain defect or something it's, a trait that's, Helped our ancestors survive so historically, our ancestors almost all worked outdoors on cold, wet or dark days.

It was more efficient for them to stay indoors and to stay warm and to conserve energy and the bright hot sunny days. It was better for them to get outside and be hunting or farming or whatever it was that they needed to do so.

If you look at the symptoms of seasonal depression, these are things like low energy sleeping longer eating more. These could be really adaptive if you were stuck inside a hut all winter, and it was best if you just spent more time sleeping than being stuck inside full of energy.

Our brain has evolved to adapt to our natural environment and it's, not adapted very well to our modern environment. Our modern society expects us to work a nine-to-five schedule, regardless of the season, the temperature or the weather, and, according to the epa Americans, spend 90 of their time indoors, and our brain just hasn't adapted very well to this artificial indoor light is Not nearly as beneficial to our brains and our bodies as natural sunlight, so this sets us up to be more irritable, depressed or feel low energy, because our body is out of sync with our work environment and this can lead to depression.

So one way to improve your mood is to start by increasing your access to natural sunlight throughout the day, but especially in the morning, within the first hour of waking up even diffuse light coming in through the windows can be beneficial, so open your windows, natural sunlight, Is powerful and a recent study showed that spending a weekend camping in the winter can even reset your natural body clock and resolve those seasonal issues like low energy? But the thing is most of us: just aren't able to hibernate during the winter or get enough sunlight to have regular energy and a positive mood.

So when natural light, isn't an option, it's possible to do light therapy at home. So light therapy has been shown through rigorous research to be helpful, with seasonal, affective disorder and also non-seasonal depression.

I mean just regular old depression. So multiple large, careful studies using control groups - these are the best kind of studies, have shown that light therapy is as effective at treating non-seasonal depression as antidepressant medications and light therapy shows even more success in treating depression when it's combined with antidepressant Medication light therapy has been shown to be effective with low energy sleep problems, changes in sleep schedules like having jet lag or shift work and emerging research is showing that light therapy has possible promising effects for depression in schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, parkinson's And fibromyalgia, and some very small studies have shown that light therapy can be helpful at rapidly treating depression in bipolar disorder.

Now I think, ideally, we would all spend a lot more time outdoors and have the opportunity to hibernate during the winter or at least go camping. But since that's, not realistic for most of us using a therapy light can be the easiest way to help boost your mood.

So let's. Talk about how to do light therapy light therapy can be used with medication and it has very few risks or side effects. Now, of course, I recommend talking with your doctor about your specific situation before using light therapy, but the first thing to know when beginning light therapy is that not just any light will work.

So, as I mentioned at the beginning of this video, this, this episode is sponsored by Carex and just so you know, I turn down a lot of sponsors that don't meet the standards of rigorous research. I won't, promote something that I don't believe is safe or effective, and Carex makes very nice lights that carefully meet all the cet guidelines.

So, in addition to sponsoring this video, they've. Also, given me some of their lights, to donate to my clients, so what you need is a light box that can actually project 10 000 lux at a comfortable distance.

So you don't have to have your face like right up against the light box, and the other important things are that this light should emit no uv rays and it should use a white light spectrum. So this lamp here is the daylight classic and it uses a uv filter to make sure that no uv uh comes through now.

The other light that I was sent by Carex it uses bulbs that don't have any uv in them. They use uv-free technology now the lamp should have the ability to mimic the sun by entering your eyes from a downward angle.

So it needs to be able to be propped up in some way and it should have a very large lit surface area and not a single point of light. So if you look at this light box, it's quite large right, and this makes it a lot easier for you to get the needed therapeutic dose in less amount of time.

So, with the 10 000 lux light box, light therapy usually involves daily sessions of around 20 to 30 minutes, and you can just sit or work near a light box and the light needs to enter your eyes indirectly.

So you need to have your eyes open. You can set it on your table or your desk at home, and that way you can read - or you know, do some other activity while having your light therapy, you can't get the same effect by just exposing your skin to the light.

So you do need to have your eyes open. You can't just lay in bed, while you do light therapy. The other thing is you don't want to like stare directly into the light box. That can be a little hard on the eyes and if you're going to choose to do light therapy, i recommend you using a tracker and carex.

com has a cool little uh tracker, where you can track your mood and track your light therapy use And that way you can be really consistent because to see results you need to put in a consistent amount of time every day for most people light therapy is most effective when it's done early in the morning right after you wake up, and You want to have this box about 16 to 24 inches from your face now.

Light therapy has very few risks, but using artificial light boxes can trigger irritability or even mania. So if you have bipolar disorder or a manic disorder or if you've had manic episodes in the past, you'll.

Just want to be very cautious about using light therapy, maybe start with smaller doses or shorter amounts of time, and you know, of course, work with your doctor to figure out if it's a good option for you, the only other precautions are, if You have really sensitive skin or really sensitive eyes.

You might want to talk with your doctor first and some medications, including some antidepressants and st john's wort. They can make your skin and your eyes more sensitive to light. So I recommend you talk with your doctor about that too.

Now, just in case, you were wondering tanning beds are not a good alternative, they release a different wavelength of light and they can increase skin cancer risk. Just like exposure to sunlight does so most people don't know that there are many natural options to treat depression and many doctors, aren't even aware of the benefits of light therapy.

Their first go-to treatment is often recommending an antidepressant medication and antidepressants are a really valid form of treatment. They & # 39. Ve got a lot of good research behind them, but they do come with side effects and one of the best things about light therapy.

In my opinion is that it has very few side effects and research shows that it's, also a effective way to treat seasonal and non-seasonal depression. So if you think that this might be a good option for you, talk with your doctor and check out the link in the description to buy a therapy light, I hope you found the information in this episode helpful.

Please share this video with someone, you think, could benefit from light therapy and if you haven't already, please like and subscribe to help others find these videos take care.. The days are getting shorter.

It's colder and darker outside how many of you all are feeling a little bit more depressed. In this episode, i'm, going to teach you how light impacts your brain and influences your mood, and i'm. Also going to teach you how you can use light therapy as a natural non-medicinal way to treat seasonal depression, which is also known as winter blues or sad, and how rigorous research has shown that light therapy can be as effective as antidepressant medication at treating non-seasonal depression.

Oh and if you'd, like to learn more natural research-backed ways to treat depression and anxiety check out, my online course change your brain 10 natural research-backed ways to treat depression and anxiety.

The course link is in the description, [, Music ]. This video is sponsored by carex. Carex makes quality natural light lamps that are used by medical professionals and these mimic natural sunlight to improve mood, enhance sleep schedules and treat depression, so go to carex.

com and use the discount code. Nutshell: 20: to get 20 off your purchase. In my 20s i spent a couple of years working in wilderness and adventure therapy programs with troubled teenagers and as staff. Our shifts were eight days on six days off.

So during our shift we lived outside in simple tarp shelters and over time we noticed that our bodies started to adapt to outdoor living. So, for example, because we didn't shower very often, our scalps just naturally started to produce less grease or after being in the wilderness.

For a while. We'd, start to smell like dirt, and we'd notice that the bugs didn't go for us as much or another example is when we'd, show up for our first day on shift out In the desert, the temperatures were over 100 degrees, it would just seem unbearable, but within a few days of living out there our bodies would adapt and the heat didn't bother us so much anymore, and i personally noticed that during the hot summer Months i had a lot less of an appetite and in the cold winter months, when i needed to burn calories to heat myself, i naturally had a much bigger appetite, but one of the biggest changes that i noticed, while i was living in the wilderness, was that My body started to naturally sink to the cycles of light outside.

So in the summer, during the long bright days i didn't need as much sleep. I would only sleep six or seven hours, but i would still wake up in the morning. Just like full of energy, and i couldn't stay in my sleeping bag any longer than that and in the winter months we would still camp outside in these simple tarp shelters.

Even if there was a couple feet of snow on the ground and my body naturally adapted to that as well, so your body cranks out more heat in the winter and naturally i had a little bit less energy and i was able to stay warm and stay Wrapped up in my sleeping bag during those long winter nights - and i was probably sleeping 11 or 12 hours a night and i was able to spend like 13 hours in my sleeping bag now during the summer.

That would have driven me crazy spending that much time just laying around. So, despite all the other factors that may have been present, it was clear to me that light was having an impact on my day-to-day work, and my energy levels in the wilderness.

Research shows that the light that enters our eyes gives information to our brain as to what our energy level should be light. Sets our body's, clock which is called the circadian rhythm and changes in light levels can affect hormones like melatonin and serotonin.

So sunlight cues, these special areas of our retinas. This triggers the brain to release serotonin and serotonin, is a neurotransmitter associated with happiness. Serotonin also impacts sexual functioning, sleep memory, learning, digestion and other functions throughout the body decreased.

Sun exposure is connected to a drop in serotonin levels, and this can lead to depression with a seasonal pattern. You may be familiar with serotonin, because some of the most commonly used antidepressant medications like prozac these work by impacting serotonin, but you can also trigger the release of serotonin by increasing your exposure to daylight or bright lights.

Another hormone melatonin. This is a key to our body's, sleep-wake cycle. Our bodies respond to darkness by producing melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. When we're exposed to sunlight in the morning, melatonin is produced sooner and it helps us sleep more easily come night time.

Regular sunlight exposure during the day is essential for a synchronized, melatonin production and a healthy sleep and wake schedule, and this is really important because sleep problems are directly linked to depression.

When we can improve sleep, research shows it can improve depression, symptoms, 87 percent of the time light impacts our body in other ways too. The sun's. Uv rays have been linked to vitamin d production.

Lower blood pressure and research shows that people generally have lower mood and less energy on cloudy days than they do on sunny ones, and this isn't like a brain defect or something it's, a trait that's, Helped our ancestors survive so historically, our ancestors almost all worked outdoors on cold, wet or dark days.

It was more efficient for them to stay indoors and to stay warm and to conserve energy and the bright hot sunny days. It was better for them to get outside and be hunting or farming or whatever it was that they needed to do so.

If you look at the symptoms of seasonal depression, these are things like low energy sleeping longer eating more. These could be really adaptive if you were stuck inside a hut all winter, and it was best if you just spent more time sleeping than being stuck inside full of energy.

Our brain has evolved to adapt to our natural environment and it's, not adapted very well to our modern environment. Our modern society expects us to work a nine-to-five schedule, regardless of the season, the temperature or the weather, and, according to the epa americans, spend 90 of their time indoors, and our brain just hasn't adapted very well to this artificial indoor light is Not nearly as beneficial to our brains and our bodies as natural sunlight, so this sets us up to be more irritable, depressed or feel low energy, because our body is out of sync with our work environment and this can lead to depression.

So one way to improve your mood is to start by increasing your access to natural sunlight throughout the day, but especially in the morning, within the first hour of waking up even diffuse light coming in through the windows can be beneficial, so open your windows, natural sunlight, Is powerful and a recent study showed that spending a weekend camping in the winter can even reset your natural body clock and resolve those seasonal issues like low energy? But the thing is most of us: just aren't able to hibernate during the winter or get enough sunlight to have regular energy and a positive mood.

So when natural light, isn't an option, it's possible to do light therapy at home. So light therapy has been shown through rigorous research to be helpful, with seasonal, affective disorder and also non-seasonal depression.

I mean just regular old depression. So multiple large, careful studies using control groups - these are the best kind of studies, have shown that light therapy is as effective at treating non-seasonal depression as antidepressant medications and light therapy shows even more success in treating depression when it's combined with antidepressant Medication light therapy has been shown to be effective with low energy sleep problems, changes in sleep schedules like having jet lag or shift work and emerging research is showing that light therapy has possible promising effects for depression in schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, parkinson's And fibromyalgia, and some very small studies have shown that light therapy can be helpful at rapidly treating depression in bipolar disorder.

Now i think, ideally, we would all spend a lot more time outdoors and have the opportunity to hibernate during the winter or at least go camping. But since that's, not realistic for most of us using a therapy light can be the easiest way to help boost your mood.

So let's. Talk about how to do light therapy light therapy can be used with medication and it has very few risks or side effects. Now, of course, i recommend talking with your doctor about your specific situation before using light therapy, but the first thing to know when beginning light therapy is that not just any light will work.

So, as i mentioned at the beginning of this video, this, this episode is sponsored by carex and just so you know, i turn down a lot of sponsors that don't meet the standards of rigorous research. I won't, promote something that i don't believe is safe or effective, and carex makes very nice lights that carefully meet all the cet guidelines.

So, in addition to sponsoring this video, they've. Also, given me some of their lights, to donate to my clients, so what you need is a light box that can actually project 10 000 lux at a comfortable distance.

So you don't have to have your face like right up against the light box, and the other important things are that this light should emit no uv rays and it should use a white light spectrum. So this lamp here is the daylight classic and it uses a uv filter to make sure that no uv uh comes through now.

The other light that i was sent by carex it uses bulbs that don't have any uv in them. They use uv-free technology now the lamp should have the ability to mimic the sun by entering your eyes from a downward angle.

So it needs to be able to be propped up in some way and it should have a very large lit surface area and not a single point of light. So if you look at this light box, it's quite large right, and this makes it a lot easier for you to get the needed therapeutic dose in less amount of time.

So, with the 10 000 lux light box, light therapy usually involves daily sessions of around 20 to 30 minutes, and you can just sit or work near a light box and the light needs to enter your eyes indirectly.

So you need to have your eyes open. You can set it on your table or your desk at home, and that way you can read - or you know, do some other activity while having your light therapy, you can't get the same effect by just exposing your skin to the light.

So you do need to have your eyes open. You can't just lay in bed, while you do light therapy. The other thing is you don't want to like stare directly into the light box. That can be a little hard on the eyes and if you're going to choose to do light therapy, i recommend you using a tracker and carex.

com has a cool little uh tracker, where you can track your mood and track your light therapy use And that way you can be really consistent because to see results you need to put in a consistent amount of time every day for most people light therapy is most effective when it's done early in the morning right after you wake up, and You want to have this box about 16 to 24 inches from your face now.

Light therapy has very few risks, but using artificial light boxes can trigger irritability or even mania. So if you have bipolar disorder or a manic disorder or if you've had manic episodes in the past, you'll.

Just want to be very cautious about using light therapy, maybe start with smaller doses or shorter amounts of time, and you know, of course, work with your doctor to figure out if it's a good option for you, the only other precautions are, if You have really sensitive skin or really sensitive eyes.

You might want to talk with your doctor first and some medications, including some antidepressants and st john's wort. They can make your skin and your eyes more sensitive to light. So i recommend you talk with your doctor about that too.

Now, just in case, you were wondering tanning beds are not a good alternative, they release a different wavelength of light and they can increase skin cancer risk. Just like exposure to sunlight does so most people don't know that there are many natural options to treat depression and many doctors, aren't even aware of the benefits of light therapy.

Their first go-to treatment is often recommending an antidepressant medication and antidepressants are a really valid form of treatment. They & # 39. Ve got a lot of good research behind them, but they do come with side effects and one of the best things about light therapy.

In my opinion is that it has very few side effects and research shows that it's, also a effective way to treat seasonal and non-seasonal depression. So if you think that this might be a good option for you, talk with your doctor and check out the link in the description to buy a therapy light, i hope you found the information in this episode helpful.

Please share this video with someone, you think, could benefit from light therapy and if you haven't already, please like and subscribe to help others find these videos take care. You


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