Why SAD Bright Light Therapy Doesn't Work?

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression caused by reduced exposure to sunlight brought on by seasonal changes.  Those affected often feel depressed, have low energy, loss of attention, poor sleep or over sleeping, weight changes, and just feeling crummy.  

What is the cure for SAD? Light.  Period.

Phototherapy is commonly used to help alleviate SAD symptoms, typically using bright light 10,000 lux therapy lights.  These SAD lamps are recommended to be used at full brightness 10,000 lux,16-24 inches from your eye, for 30 minutes a day in the morning.  Normal lighting in a home or office is 200-300 lux, so these are VERY bright and often uncomfortable to use.

Why don't SAD bright light therapies work?

1. Many SAD lights are not 10,000 lux.

Many SAD lamps, since 10,000 lux is so bright, either are less than 10,000 lux or build in dimmer modes to make it more comfortable but essentially useless.

2. So uncomfortable, people don't use them properly or at all.

The 10,000 lux lamps are recommended to be 16 inches from your eyes for 30 minutes, and realistically it is challenging to see anything when doing this therapy so skip it or put it too far away to be effective.

3. It needs to be used right after waking up, when people are busiest.

Our circadian rhythms are most sensitive to light in the mornings and evenings.  The best results for light therapy are when used right after waking up, when you are making breakfast, getting kids ready, and just too busy. It seems cruel to ask someone struggling with sleep from SAD, to wake up extra early to do light therapy.

Why is TUO lighting the best SAD light therapy?

Most effective circadian light : TUO is partnered with the University of Washington, one of the world's top research center's for vision and neuroscience. They have recently discovered the amacrine cells in the eye that elucidate how vision cones influence the circadian rhythm pathway more than previous methods such as bright light and blue light.

Low lux light therapy: TUO lighting focuses on activating vision cones that are very sensitive to light and influence circadian rhythms at normal lighting levels 200-300 lux. See laboratory testing results at 250 lux.

Easy to Use: The TUO app customizes to your age, chronotype, and schedule so you can set it and forget it -- TUO LED light bulbs will just change to the right mode at the right time automatically.  TUO light bulbs can be used in any room to its easy to get your light therapy, even if you are busy getting ready in the morning.