Just in time for the January blahs, some technology news for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It seems that blasting your face with 30 minutes of bright light at breakfast is no longer the only way to cheer up:
In the study, dawn simulation and negative air ionization, both activated toward the end of sleep, proved to be as effective as bright light therapy after waking up — an established treatment for winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
With bright light therapy, SAD sufferers sit at a bright light box for 30 minutes at breakfast time. Dawn simulation and negative air ionization are more convenient, being delivered automatically and innocuously during the final hours of sleep by an apparatus placed next to the bed.
So, Dawn Therapy seems like a reasonable improvement over the breakfast blast. But we hadn’t heard of “Negative Air Ionization” before, and were surprised to see a slew of websites hawking the expensive gizmos.
Since the weather has been delightful in the Northeast, we’re not in the market (yet) — but we wonder if similar research on shift workers, or late-night bloggers, sheds any light on this therapy.
More from Dr. Terman’s abstract in the American Journal of Psychiatry…