Women today ‘have never had it so good’ to misquote a previous Prime Minister. But this can be a double-edged sword as we are all expected to be Superwoman too, working in and out of the home, and bringing up the next generation. We are used to supporting family and friends, managing work and home – and, yes, it can be rewarding, but it can also be draining. The lifestyle choices that we make can have a significant impact on our health.
To run this exhausting schedule we need to be in the best of health but research shows that women visit their GP nearly twice as often as men. Often we talk to women who are tired, lethargic and feel just a general decline in wellbeing over the autumn and winter months. We have been able to lift their mood, restore their ability to cope and improve many aspects of their daily life – literally by bringing light into their life! Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. affects women more than men. This is generally as life-changes, such as having children and the menopause trigger the symptoms. The lack of light in the winter can profoundly affect our emotions, causing a variety of symptoms:
- low mood
- lack of energy
- lack of interest in socialising
- sleep problems
- craving for carbohydrates
How does the light affect us?
When you think about it logically, it is just over a century ago that Edison produced the first practical incandescent light bulb. Before that we went to bed when it was dark and got up when it was light and didn’t try to live a 24/7 lifestyle.
Using a lightbox is a simple but effective way to increase our wellbeing. Light affects a small area (suprachiasmatic nuclei) deep in the pineal gland in the brain. This area responds to light, when there is less light it sends a message to your body to produce more melatonin (the hormone that causes hibernation in animals) and it makes you sleepy. However, when there is plenty of light it sends the signal to produce serotonin the ‘happy hormone’ which makes you lively and dynamic.
The lack of clear light/dark signals can also lead to disturbances in sleep patterns and this too can be helped with bright light therapy.
So what is the answer?
Talk to us! We are the longest established manufacturer of lightboxes in the UK. For over 20 years we have been making lightboxes that bring the benefits of light therapy to our UK and international clients.
Lightboxes are designed to counteract the negative affects of light deprivation by supplementing the amount of natural light available. A lightbox is very easy to use. If you can, put one on your desk, about an arms distance away, slightly to one side of your computer, switch it on and away you go! Just don’t use it within 4 hours of bedtime or you won’t be able to sleep.
If you are using one at home, have it beside you while you are getting dressed, doing your hair and makeup or beside you in the kitchen while you have breakfast or make the children’s lunch boxes.
The light must go into the eye so no sun glasses, goggles etc, but ordinary glasses or contact lenses are fine.