The effects of daylight bulbs on mood

Written by claudia stanic
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The effects of daylight bulbs on mood
Daylight bulbs can improve your mood. (light bulb image by Photosani from

Exposure to bright light can improve your mood, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in which less exposure to daylight during the winter causes a chemical imbalance in the brain and leads to depression. Research has also linked SAD to increased levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps people sleep. People produce more melatonin during long winter nights.

SAD Treatment

The Princeton Theological Seminary recommends so-called "happy light bulbs" for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter blues. People with mood drops unrelated to wintertime may also benefit from exposure to daylight bulbs. Research has demonstrated that bright light changes brain chemistry, but experts still aren't sure how, the American Psychiatric Association states.The Seminary recommends you use either 60- or 100-watt daylight bulbs.

Light Therapy

If exposure to daylight bulbs fails to improve your mood, try light therapy. During the treatment, a patient sits near a box that gives off bright light similar to daytime light. Typically, people suffering from SAD begin treatment in the fall and continue through spring. If using the box for generalised depression, talk with your doctor about appropriate timing and the duration. The light can alter the brain's output of chemicals related to happiness, according to the Mayo Clinic. The light boxes generally filter out dangerous ultraviolet lights, but you should talk with your doctor before beginning any new treatment program. You can purchase light boxes online or at some drugstores.


Expose yourself to daylight bulbs in the morning and/or the afternoon. Looking at artificial daylight during the evening can make falling asleep difficult. Try installing a lamp with a daylight bulb in your office or in your lamps at home. Talk with your doctor about appropriate durations for daylight bulb exposure.

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