Q: Exactly how light deprived have we become?
A: Dr. Dan Kripke, a prominent San Diego-based researcher, set out to answer the question of how light-deprived we have become. Kripke and his research team randomly selected 150 middle-aged, middle-class adults and had them wear special wrist devices that would record their light exposure 24 hours a day. The study began in August, when the weather in San Diego can only be described as idyllic. Despite the great weather, only half the adults in the study group spent 58 minutes outside per day. The people who received the least light were exposed to direct sunlight for only 13 minutes a day. The average exposure for 12 hours of the day was less than 100 lux (lux is a measurement of light intensity). By comparison, sunlight outdoors on a sunny day can be up to 100,000 lux – 1,000 times as much as in a dimly lit home or office.
Q: Are you light deprived?
A: Most of us are light deprived and we are paying for it with our health. We spend the majority of our day working indoors with little or no bright light and then rush home to spend more time indoors to read, watch television, use the computer, listen to music, or exercise. Even when we do get out in the sun we wear dark sunglasses to protect us from harmful UV light, but in doing so, we block the beneficial rays from the sun.
Q: What does it mean to be light deprived?
A: The following are the common signs that you are not getting enough bright light in the beneficial wavelengths:
- Depressed Mood
- Low Energy
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Carbohydrate Cravings
- Social Withdrawal
- Reduced Libido
- Trouble Sleeping
Q: What is bright light therapy?
A: Bright light therapy involves the regular (usually daily) exposure to a bright light source. Treatments typically involve an artificial light source of accepted therapeutic intensity and having peaks in specific wavelengths, with exposure duration of a set period and distance from the light source.
Q: How does bright light therapy work?
A: Experiments indicate that individuals who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) are affected by light, which plays a major role in the secretion of melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body's pineal gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain. During the day, melatonin levels are barely detectable in individuals who don't suffer from S.A.D.
When light hits your eye, the retina transmits impulses to your body clock, located in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates sleeping, eating, body temperature and libido.
Clinical research shows that The Litebook®'s wavelength may assist in regulating the body's melatonin levels. It also boosts a feel-good neurotransmitter (serotonin), which makes you feel content and energized.
Q: Is bright light therapy safe?
Bright light therapy has been extensively researched at leading institutions worldwide for over 25 years. Most people experience no side effects; however, some individuals may experience minor side effects (headaches, eye strain, and occasional nausea) that tend to disappear after the first few days of exposure.
Bright light therapy has proven safe and highly effective when used under the supervision of a trained clinician or physician. It is recommended that individuals considering light therapy consult with their doctor regarding any history of eye disease, as well as the appropriateness of light therapy. The Litebook® has undergone extensive testing for safety by a leading consulting medical physicist.
Q: What is LUX and why is wavelength important?
A: LUX is the measurement of intensity of a light source. It is important that an individual receives bright light therapy of an accepted therapeutic intensity in order to experience the benefits of improved mood, increased energy, and better sleep. Recent research has shown that it is more important to receive light in the optimal wavelengths in order to achieve satisfying results in combating the symptoms of winter blues (S.A.D.) as well as other sleep-related and circadian rhythm disorders with light therapy. All Litebook® products emit a sufficient intensity of light peaking in the optimal wavelengths but also emit light in other wavelengths to produce a natural white light and increase eye safety.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a medically recognized sub-type of major depression. It is characterized by abnormal mood episodes that occur at the same time of year on a regular basis. SAD is more common in the winter months, though Summer SAD has also been diagnosed. Winter Blues is the common name for sub-syndromal SAD. A typical person with SAD may experience some of the following: excessive tiredness, weight gain, social withdrawal, depressed mood, irritability, difficulty concentrating, carbohydrate cravings, and decreased libido (sex drive).
Q: What is the difference between the Winter Blues and S.A.D.?
A: SAD is a form of seasonal depression that commonly occurs during autumn and winter, though summer SAD also occurs. The Winter Blues is a milder form that affects up to 25% of people. Though the symptoms are fewer and less severe, the Winter Blues often cause a decrease in energy and enthusiasm, abnormal tiredness, a desire to sleep more than usual, and a craving for foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.
Q: What is Body Blues?
The Body Blues is not a severe mood disorder but a type of mild depression that affects approximately one in three women. Women with Body Blues can feel happy and may not find their work or home life is affected, however they often feel tired, tense, or irritable. Many women with the Body Blues tend to eat too much and not get enough exercise because of their low energy. Someone with Body Blues will have three or more of the following: Low Energy, Overeating, Weight Gain, Tension and Irritability, Sleep Difficulties, Difficulty Concentrating, Mild Anxiety, Mild Depression or Decreased Interest in Sex.
Q: What is jet lag?
A: Jet lag, or dysrhythmia, occurs when the body clock is not synchronized with an air traveler's new time zone, causing a disruption of more than 50 physiological and psychological rhythms. Studies show that jet lag worsens with age, particularly after 50. Until recently, jet lag was dismissed as merely an unpleasant side effect of air travel. New research suggests that it also causes memory loss, shrinkage of parts of the brain, and negative side effects on blood pressure.
Q: How does the human body clock work?
A: The human body clock is a complex internal mechanism that serves to regulate our body's functions over time. It is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a tiny cluster of nerve cells in an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. This body clock helps regulate breathing and heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, hormone production, and other vital bodily functions.
Q: How do I shift my body clock?
A: Our body clock responds to a variety of cues in our environment, the strongest of which is light. A pulse of sufficiently bright light at the appropriate time will move (or phase shift) our body clock forward (phase advance) or back (phase delay).
Q: What other conditions benefit from light therapy?
A: Research has shown light therapy can have benefits for various circadian rhythm sleep disorders affecting teens, seniors, shift-workers, jet-lag sufferers and insomniacs, as well as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), Bulimia Nervosa, dementia (through regulation of sleep patterns and reducing night wanderings), and non-seasonal Major Depression. Research into these conditions is ongoing at major institutions worldwide. Remember that The Litebook Company will be your source for breaking news on this research. Click here to learn more.
Q: Can children benefit from light therapy?
A: The issues of light deprivation can affect all age groups. Teenagers and the elderly can also benefit from light therapy to help regulate their body clock which tends to shift forward or backward during those periods in our lifecycle.
Q: Does the light give me Vitamin D?
A: No. The visible range of light does not produce vitamin D in the body. UV light is needed for vitamin D production.
Q: Is light therapy covered by my insurance or healthcare provider?
A: Light therapy is recommended by healthcare professionals for combating SAD and other body-clock disruptions in the U.S. and Canada, as well as northern Europe and elsewhere. Patients in the U.S. and some other countries are able to obtain a prescription for light therapy from a physician, and increasingly, receive reimbursement from insurance companies for the purchase of a light therapy device. (Consult your insurance carrier for possible coverage.)
To maximize your chances of coverage of a Litebook® purchase, you should:
- Ask for a prescription from your physician
- Complete the insurance form or get a similar letter from your physician, and
- Provide a copy of your purchase receipt.
How long do I need to used the Litebook®?
A: Light therapy usage varies with the individual. For instance, usage times for winter blues are typically 15-60 minutes per day, while for jet lag - it varies with the number of time zones crossed. Ideal exposure time is the morning, as early as possible. Additional sessions are indicated mid-day and early evening, as required.
How many LUX does the Litebook® provide?
A: A growing body of research demonstrates that the effectiveness of light therapy is less dependent on the intensity (LUX) of the light source than it is on the wavelength of the light. Numerous research reports on the same peak wavelengths of light emitted by The Litebook® conclude that it is these wavelengths of light that are the ‘action spectrum’ for light therapy. In other words, these wavelengths of light are responsible for increasing energy, improving mood, and restoring sleep patterns. Since the white LEDs in all Litebook® products produce light with peaks in the most effective wavelengths, most users find that they need LESS time (typically 15-20 minutes/day) with Litebook® products than they did with larger, 10,000 LUX units. Thus The Litebook® emits light that is the equivalent to 10,000 lux at 24 inches.
How does the Litebook® differ from other light therapy devices?
A: Unlike most existing light therapy devices, which are large and clunky in design, The Litebook® is extremely compact, lightweight yet durable, portable, and aesthetically pleasing. The Litebook® also features several innovative elements: bright-white light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and optional DC power supply for use on airliners and motor vehicles. More about The Litebook®:
The Litebook® uses bright white LEDs (light emitting diodes) of a specific wavelength that is identical to the peak wavelength of sunlight, which energizes our bodies and sharpens our minds just like being out in the natural sunshine.
Average user requires less treatment time than fluorescent light products. Many of our users have reported their treatment times have been cut in half. It is best to start with 15 to 20 minutes and adjust the usage time as necessary.
Q: Does the he Litebook® emits radiation?
A: The Litebook® has been eye safety tested by expert Dr. David H. Sliney, PhD, consulting medical physicist, who concluded “The Litebook®
Model 1.2 and diffused LED emitters do not pose a potential hazard to the eye under any realistic viewing conditions.”
The Litebook® uses about 1/10 the power of traditional light boxes.
The Litebook® generates virtually no heat.