Light therapy: antiblock sunbathing

Wake up, cloudy, leaden body? It's winter ... But it's not inevitable! Lamps, light bulbs or light therapy glasses simulate sunlight and promise the energy of sunny days.

Agnès Rogelet

"I'm in a laughing mood, more awake, more alert, I want to turn it on as soon as I get to work and I feel better in the rest of the day" , observes Sonia, 35, who placed a light therapy lamp near her computer to better spend the season of dead leaves locked in an office. A boost of energy that it owes to this lighting as beneficial as a sun without its ultraviolet rays! Explanations.

Choosing the right device

Are the symptoms of winter blues familiar to you? Do not be fooled by books whose practical tips are more about seasonal mood disorders. If they really bother you, discuss with your doctor the advisability of investing in a light therapy lamp at home (if you suffer from major visual problems such as glaucoma or cataracts or if you are taking photosensitizing medications, do not forget to contact him or her. report).

If your winter blues are light, you do not need to invest in heavy equipment. Opt for a dawn simulator (which will wake you up lightly and gently), a special small desk lamp or light therapy glasses. The sessions must be daily, and two weeks will be necessary before judging definitely their effectiveness on you. Do not change your activities and do not turn off your usual lighting. Read the instructions of the devices, but know that your feelings are essential.

A single watchword: pay attention to your feelings during and after your sessions to adjust the beneficial dose to your well-being.

Take advantage of each ray of sun

"From the scientific point of view, we do not yet know how light therapy works," says Norman E. Rosenthal, except that it acts on the secretion of melatonin. In fact, 80% of individuals with seasonal mood disorders benefit from it (3). It is also very useful for insomniacs, night workers or jet lagged people. In a few days, a sensation of body lightening and tone is born, as if this "artificial sun" was bursting with energy.

"Very quickly, I felt more calm, but also more joyful, less stressed, more able to take a step back ...", testifies Gladys, 37, who is flooded with light two hours a day. But do not forget that even in winter, the sun shines. A bath of light on the glittering snow is also light therapy!

1, 2, 3 - In Thirst for light by Norman E. Rosenthal and Gérard Pons (Jouvence, 2006).

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