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5 Home Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder


1
Get Light
Get as much natural light as possible between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Get as much natural light as possible between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
©iStockphoto.com/Eric Gevaert

Stave off the sadness that can become overwhelming if you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder by increasing your exposure to light. Get as much natural light as possible between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Get outside and go for a walk, or at least sit by a window. Open the curtains, pull up the shades, and spend time in the sunniest room in the house. Eat lunch outside. If you can't get out in the morning light, at least get out on your lunch break. Even if it's cloudy, the natural light will do you good.

Indoors, try natural full-spectrum lighting and use light-colored fabrics, walls and rugs.

One of the most effective treatments for SAD is regular (usually daily) exposure to a specially designed light box, one that provides enough intensity of light to positively affect SAD symptoms (the light needs to be at least 10 times the intensity of regular household or office lighting). Two variations on the basic light box are also available: a special light visor (you want the particles of light from a light device to actually enter your eyes) and a "dawn simulator," which is a light box that simulates sunrise by switching on when you awaken and growing brighter and brighter as the morning wears on. The amount of exposure time required each day can be as little as a half hour to as much as several hours, although you are encouraged to go about normal activities such as eating or reading during exposure time. Talk with your doctor about whether you should try one of these devices.


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