According to statistics taken from NHS Direct, 1 in 8 people in the UK suffer from a mild form of ‘winter blues’ and 1 in 50 people are diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
In recognition of this Boots has introduced a range of clocks and lamps which specifically look to help alleviate the symptoms of SAD, from the most mild of cases through to the more chronically affected.
SAD lamps work on the principle that SAD is directly correlated to the amount of exposure to sunlight that individuals experience, which is reduced in the winter months. One theory is that light stimulates hormone levels in the specific part of the brain that affects mood, appetite and sleep patterns. Therefore if those people who suffer from SAD can increase their exposure to light through light therapy, then their mood could be lifted to levels consistent with that of the spring and summer seasons. Lamps and lightboxes used in light therapy have a very intense light – for example, an ordinary light bulb gives out light measuring between 200 – 500 lux, whereas a light therapy lamp tends to have a minimum output of 2500 lux. It is thought that light therapy helps symptoms of SAD in up to 67% of sufferers.
There are eleven clocks and lamps in the range, ten of which come from the renowned brand Lumie, a specialist in light therapy. The range spans body clocks to help the body combat the darker mornings through to fully medically certified products that can help alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The clocks work on the principle of using gradually increasing simulated natural sunlight, therefore aligning your internal bodyclock and increasing the hormones that produce energy, leaving your body more refreshed and alert. The SAD lamps and lightboxes can be used to help the more chronic symptoms of SAD by creating a brighter light for use at any time of day; the theory is that being in close proximity to this light can increase the levels of melatonin and cortisol, to help induce a positive mood and stimulate energy levels.
David Hurst, Healthcare Buyer for boots.com said: “We recognise that the often mixed weather Britain experiences can leave many people with either unspecified feelings of ‘winter blues’ or in more severe cases the diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Research shows that using a special bright light can improve symptoms of SAD and as we believe that the turning back of the clocks in October can signal the start of winter for many, we feel this is the perfect time to introduce this range of SAD lamps and clocks that could help lift people’s spirits.”
* All statistics taken from NHS Direct 08 August 2008
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