What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression which tends to occur as the days become shorter during the fall and winter. Researchers believe it is the decreasing sunlight which creates symptoms associated with SAD.

As much as 14% of the population may experience SAD during the winter months. It is under stable why so many pose the question, what is seasonal affective disorder and how can it be treated?

Researchers believe that SAD is the result of a mis-timed circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle, also caused by a lack of exposure to natural sunlight. Light devices are typically used to substitute for this lack of natural light and alleviate or remediate SAD symptoms.

Flinders University researchers Professor Leon Lack and Dr Helen Wright have studied the effect on light on sleep for 25 years. Their seminal research has led to significant advancements in the use of light therapy to treat sleep issues as well as SAD. When describing what SAD is, they state that “these sufferers (of SAD) appear to have delayed body clocks and benefit most from morning light therapy”.

The use of a light therapy device to treat SAD is recommended by practitioners as a proven, non-drug alternative. When searching for an appropriate device it’s best to consult your health care professional. Ensure you purchase a wearable device so that you receive the optimal light onto your eyes.

The information contained on this website is not intended to be used as medical information or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice. As a matter of good practice we recommend you seek the advice of your health professional before selecting a light device. 

References and more information about how to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms can be accessed at the following pages:

Medicinenet – Seasonal Affective Disorder 

Flinders University Psychology Research Lab

Netdoctor SAD and Winter DepressionFacts