Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Light Therapy
According to a study by Columbia University, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (2006), light therapy was found to be an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), rivaling the effectiveness of antidepressants. In this study, 67% of participants who received light therapy treatment experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms.
Light therapy and Sleep
A study from the University of Sherbrooke (2018) showed that exposure to daylight in the morning improved sleep quality and mood in people with insomnia. In fact, 85% of participants noted an improvement in their quality of sleep after light therapy treatment.
Light Therapy and Productivity
According to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge (2017), exposure to daylight during the day has a positive impact on the productivity of office workers. The results showed an improvement in productivity of 10 to 25%.
Light Therapy and Non-Seasonal Depression
A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (2016) suggests that light therapy may be as effective as antidepressants in treating non-seasonal depression, with improvement observed in 60% of participants.
Light therapy compared to antidepressants
A randomized controlled study by Golden et al. (2005) compared the effectiveness of light therapy to that of fluoxetine (an antidepressant) for the treatment of SAD. The results showed that 57% of participants treated with light therapy experienced significant improvement in their symptoms, compared to 50% of those treated with fluoxetine.
Other applications of Light Therapy
Various other studies have also highlighted the benefits of light therapy in the treatment of sleep problems, bipolar depression, adaptation to jet lag, certain symptoms of dementia, depression during pregnancy, sleep problems associated with shift work, sleep disorders in adolescents, eating disorders such as bulimia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In summary, light therapy appears to be a promising therapy, offering a natural and effective alternative to drug therapy for a multitude of disorders, with a low rate of side effects. However, it is important to emphasize that additional research is needed to confirm and expand these findings.