Effects of Red Light Therapy on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Effects of Red Light Therapy on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Effects of Red Light Therapy on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Transitions into a new season can be coupled with SAD. In this article, we’ll discuss an overview of SAD, the effect of sunlight on seasonal shifts, and how red light therapy is a potential solution for those most affected by SAD during certain months.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is recognized as a fluctuation in one's mood associated with the changing of the seasons. Symptoms of SAD tend to arise during the fall and winter and then subside during the spring and summer. Common symptoms of SAD include reduced energy levels at a particular time of year, anxiety, social withdrawal, fatigue, low sex drive, increased appetite, weight gain, and inability to concentrate. 


Despite the lack of a clear explanation, research proposes the cause of SAD is connected to a deficiency in exposure to light, particularly sunlight. This could be especially true for those living in more northern areas, due to the sun's lower angle.

The Effects of Sunshine on People

The influence of the sun's rays on people is undeniable. We feel its warmth on our skin and its presence in our lives. Sunlight affects our physical and mental well-being, from providing us with essential vitamin D to bringing us happiness and joy. It can lift our spirits, provide us with energy, and boost our immunity. Sunlight also has an impact on our circadian rhythms, helping us to stay alert during the day and sleep better at night. Ultimately, its presence in our lives is invaluable and should be cherished.


The position of the sun is connected to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is mainly due to the “sun angle,” or the angle at which the sun strikes the earth. This angle is a big determinant of the yearly seasons as well as the amount of heat energy the planet gets due to the earth's tilt of 23.5°. Cool weather usually brings more humidity, resulting in clouds and low amounts of sunlight. Moreover, the angle of the sun prevents Ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths from the sun from reaching the earth's surface during the colder months. 


Hormones and Sleep in Relation to the Sun

Studies demonstrate a strong connection between sunlight and the regulation of serotonin in our bodies, which is a hormone responsible for our moods. Those with SAD were observed to have lower serotonin levels than those without. This may be due to a lack of Vitamin D, which is mainly derived from exposure to UV sunlight. It is interesting to note that during the winter months, UV light is unable to reach the earth's surface. 


Other research has suggested an overproduction of melatonin in those with SAD, which can cause fatigue and excessive sleepiness. Although sleep is necessary for good health, too much sleep can lead to imbalances and interfere with overall well-being.

Strategies for Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder

To stay both mentally and physically sound, exposing your body to sunlight, particularly in the morning, can be very beneficial. For areas with less sunlight during the fall and winter, light therapy can be a great option to help keep adequate light levels. Studies have shown that bright white light (of 10,000 lux or more) for 30 minutes can abate the chance of SAD, while infrared light has also been proven to be effective. Additionally, engaging in regular exercise and a nutritious diet are both great ways to support your body during times when natural sunlight is less available.

Can RedShift Light Therapy be Used in Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder?

RedShift devices utilize wavelengths of red and near-infrared light which can be found in daylight. These scientifically approved wavelengths of light can help improve healthy cellular function and give your body more energy. RedShift makes it easy and suitable to keep healthy light levels, especially during the winter and cloudy times of the year. The greatest part is that you can do it when it is most convenient for you by getting your at-home red light therapy device. 

Bottom Line

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can have a negative influence on our emotional state and cause us to feel drained of energy. Studies have shown that the shortage of sunlight exposure, which is linked to the position of the sun, is the cause of SAD. To combat the mental effects of SAD, one can regulate the amount of light their body is exposed to. This can be done by spending time in the sun or using a red light therapy device such as RedShift. This way, it is possible to keep a positive attitude and energy levels up during the times when sunlight is at its weakest.

Get The Best At Home Red Light and Experience The Shift!