Well, bright light therapy is where we use light that is the same intensity, color, and wavelength of sunlight. Here is an example of a light box. They used to be these huge contraptions that you'd have to sit on a shelf. This is probably 13 or 14 years old, this particular device. Now, it's very small. You turn it on, it's pretty bright, but it's not that bright, actually.
Bright light therapy, traditionally, was used for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When someone, because of not getting very much sunlight exposure,may get depressed in the winter time. And then when there's increased light exposure, may even get manic or hypomanic in the spring time.
More recently, we have realized that light therapy is even beneficial for more than just seasonal affective disorder, but even for depression, it's considered an adjunct treatment for depression.
So if you are someone who is on antidepressant medications, and let's say, you're 80% better, and just feel like you need to be a little bit better, but don't want to change your medication, or try anything different, or even add another medication, you could consider using light therapy as an adjunct to help boost the effectiveness of your medication.
But in addition to that, light therapy is also very helpful in regulating sleep. It can help you be someone who becomes more of a morning person and just pops out of bed in the morning.
Suppose you've spent the whole summer going to bed at 11 o'clock and waking up at seven or eight o'clock. And now, you really need to be up at six or even five o'clock in the morning. And how in the world are you going to accomplish that without a lot of pain and suffering? Well, light therapy can help pull your sleep forward.