Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let The Sun Shine! It's About That Time Again . . . .

It's coming up on that time of year again, longer days, less sunlight and yes . . . . our sensitivity to that and how it can affect our moods. 

We have learned about the newly discovered photoreceptors, cells in the eye that react to light, called Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells. These cells respond greatest to blue and violet colored light. They carry information about the light in our environment to the Hypothalmus, an important part of the brain for our day/night cycle and our moods. When we do not have enough light, especially in the blue and violet wavelengths, some of us suffer from what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a kind of depression.

One way to treat or avoid SAD is to make sure you get daily exposure to sunlight. Light exposure seems to cause a natural release of Serotonin, an importan neuro-regulator of mood. But if you live in Cleveland and it's Fall, Winter or even Spring, getting natural sunlight can be a real problem.

This is where light boxes can come into play. A light box like the Uplift Technologies one shown emits very bright light that has UV light filtered out. It has plenty of blue and violet light to activate your pRGC's. There is no substitute for real, honest-to-goodness sunlight! But if you suffer from SAD using the science behind the activation of pRGC's and the modulation of Serotonin might do the trick.

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