Light therapy is a popular treatment for many sleep related disorders including delayed sleep phase disorder, advanced sleep phase disorder, jet lag, and oversleeping. But you don’t need a sleep disorder to benefit from light therapy. Light therapy can help you stay alert throughout the day and help you wake up naturally feeling refreshed.
Your body’s circadian rhythm naturally associates bright light with alertness and darkness with sleepiness. By exposing yourself to bright light, you will feel more awake and alert.
Take a look at the Light Therapy article for more information regarding the uses of light therapy.
The NatureBright SunTouch is one of the best light boxes on the market, attested by the many five star reviews it has received on Amazon.
Bright light naturally makes us feel fresh and alert. During winter or when working shift work, you often miss out on natural daylight which can make you feel more depressed, tired, and can affect your sleep.
Normal artificial light isn’t bright enough to deliver the rejuvenating effects of light therapy. The intensity of light is measured in lux, where by 1 lux is roughly equivalent to the light provided by a full moon directly overhead. Normal house lighting tends to be around 50 lux, and office lighting can vary between 320 to 500 lux. An overcast day ranges from 100 to 1000 lux. This light box is 10,000 lux, representing that of a bright spring day.
A good time to use your light box is while eating breakfast in the morning to kick start your day. Don’t stare directly into the light just as you wouldn’t stare into the sun. Put it an arms length away from your diagonal to where you’re facing so the light baths your face with minimal glare.
Price: $59.99 | Buy from Amazon
Philips goLITE BLU
Traditional light boxes are big cumbersome white lamps, but this light box is a relatively small portable blue lamp. The light resembles the same blue you get on a bright clear summer’s day. Studies have shown that this type of light is more effective than normal white light or full spectrum lights.
To use, put the light box at arms length away from you, at the same height as your naval either in front of you or slightly to the side. Don’t look straight into the light, just as you wouldn’t look straight into the sun, but just let the light bath your face. Philips recommend you use it for around 15-45 minutes per day on the medium brightness setting, raising the brightness to a higher setting if you don’t feel the effects after a week.
Because it’s portable, you can use it anywhere around the house, in your kitchen while eating breakfast, in the lounge watching TV, or in your office while working. It comes with a travel case making it perfect for taking on holiday to alleviate jet lag to use in the hotel or on the flight.
The downside is that because it’s a premium light box, it does come with a premium price tag. If portability or space-saving are not important to you, I would recommend taking a look at a more traditional lightbox such as the NatureBright SunTouch above.
Price: $249.99 | Buy from Amazon
Philips Wake Up Light
As humans we’re designed to naturally wake up when the sun rises. There is nothing worse than waking up in a dark room startled by a loud alarm.
This alarm clock uses your natural biological rhythms to ease you out of sleep and into gradual alertness.
This wake up light from Philips is a dawn simulator. 40 to 20 minutes before your wake up time the lamp turns itself on to its lowest brightness setting, a red dim glow. It slowly gets brighter, becoming a bright white light by the time you need to wake up. It then plays a choice of 6 natural sounds or you can listen to the radio.
The first light of the day is critical for setting your biological clock. Getting light as soon as you wake up positively affects your mood and alertness levels.
The Wake Up Light also features a dusk simulator, gradually fading the light. It can be set between 5 to 60 minutes. It’s a natural way to help your body prepare for sleep.
The Wake Up Light ideal for people with seasonal affective disorder, delayed sleep phase syndrome, people who have problems oversleeping, or just find it difficult to wake up in the morning.