SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder)
It is at that time of year for those with SAD to be more sensitive to the lack of bright sun light from other seasons. SAD can be treated as depression with doctors suggesting treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy or medication in the form of anti-depressants. However, many find sitting in front of a lightbox for 30 mins to one hour each morning is very helpful. Light decreases production of melatonin to decrease sleepiness and to increase production of serotonin to improve mood. The best lightboxes have a measurement of 10,000 lux (or the same as 1000 footcandles) to shine onto the face with eyes open. The best lightboxes will have a diffused lens or filters/lenses to eliminate direct harsh glare from the light sources in the lightbox. Children can also respond well with these lightboxes, and can use them while doing homework or other activities, such as reading or playing a board game, to help pass the time. One way to notice if your child has SAD is if they show a lower level of energy, there is lowering of grades in school, and depressive moods during these low light seasons of late autumn and winter.