The SunBox Company Blog

An Invitation to join the Conversation about the SunBox and Light Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and More

Welcome to The SunBox Company’s blog page on light therapy!

Our company was founded in 1985, and we are the original pioneers of the light box / light therapy industry. The SunBoxes we manufacture here in the U.S.A. are used for bright light therapy, also known as seasonal affective disorder therapy (or SAD therapy). We make the best light therapy units available today! Our SAD lights have been prescribed and recommended by over 3,000 health professionals since 1985 to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the winter blues, depression, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

I hope you enjoy our posts. Feel free to leave comments.

Thank you!
Neal Owens, President

June Gloom Hits The West Coast & Makes You SAD

June Gloom Is Back For The West Coast! Extremely annoying late spring to early summer weather phenomenon in coastal Southern California that causes relentless, damp, dreary, miserable weather with drizzle and fog for weeks without end at the beaches. It sometimes spreads into the mountains. This can shock tourists who come to sunny Southern California to instead find themselves in depressing weather. It spoils beach day fun and for most locals is the most dreaded time of the year. It is the Number 1 cause for Seasonal Affective Disorder in Southern California. If the June Gloom is causing you to [More…]

Light treatment improves sleep, depression, agitation in Alzheimer’s

A new study suggests that light treatment tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day may improve sleep, depression and agitation in people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. Results show that exposure to the tailored light treatment during daytime hours for four weeks significantly increased sleep quality, efficiency and total sleep duration. It also significantly reduced scores for depression and agitation. “It is a simple, inexpensive, non-pharmacological treatment to improve sleep and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients,” said principal investigator Mariana Figueiro, PhD, associate professor and Light and Health program director of the Lighting Research Center at [More…]

Spring Showers Can Bring Spring Depression

Spring’s arrival puts most people in a pleasant mood, but there are some who experience the opposite feeling. For those suffering from seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the longer days and warmer weather in the spring can actually send their bodies and emotions into a tailspin. In general, as the seasons change, so do our behavior, energy levels, desire to socialize, and sometimes sleeping patterns. And often, the term “seasonal affective disorder” is inaccurately used to describe the normal winter blahs and lower energy levels most people feel in the fall and winter. Those diagnosed with seasonal affective [More…]

Hospital room lighting may worsen patients’ mood, pain

, Patients in an average hospital room are exposed to so little light during the day that their bodies cannot adopt a normal sleep-wake cycle, a small study suggests. Researchers found the lowest levels of daytime light exposure were tied to worse mood and more fatigue and pain among patients, compared to those whose rooms were better-lit during the day. “Until now, no one has looked at the associations among light and outcomes such as sleep, mood and pain experienced in the hospital,” said Esther Bernhofer, lead author of the study and a nurse researcher at the Cleveland Clinic’s Nursing [More…]

The Most Depressing Day Of The Year

It’s called the “Most Depressing Day of the Year.” It’s also a global day to call attention to the toll depression takes on our lives at work and at home and the costs to our economy. Why This Day? Blue Monday was created by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher at University of Cardiff’s Center for Lifelong Learning. He devised a formula that uses a variety of emotional and stress factors to determine the most depressing day of the year. Light: Low light levels and bad weather combine to create Seasonal Affective Disorder. Bills Due: Holiday bills are hitting the mailbox [More…]

Winter Blues Get Serious!

As the nation progresses further into the heart of winter with continuously cold and dark days, the season’s lack of light can induce changes in your mental stability. While occasional waves of sadness, or “winter blues,” are not necessarily uncommon during the winter months, these instances can snowball into a more serious and severe type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder. A relatively new disease, seasonal affective disorder, more commonly known as SAD, is classified by full-blown major depressive episodes that take form most often around the transition between seasons. “It usually depends on the latitude but the farther [More…]

Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Winter Blues

It’s 30 years since the term seasonal affective disorder (SAD) was first used to describe winter depression. Is it overused today? In 1984 psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal first used a term that changed the way people thought about winter. Seasonal affective disorder describes a type of depression with a seasonal pattern, usually occurring during winter. A lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain that rules sleep, appetite, sex drive, mood and activity levels. Patients experience lethargy and a craving for sugary snacks. Rosenthal included the term in a paper he co-wrote following a move from the [More…]

Light Therapy Helps Chronic Mood Disorders, Too

Researchers suspect that seasonal affective disorder, first reported in 1984, has something to do with circadian rhythms thrown off by short, dark days. At first, Vox reports, scientists connected SAD to excessive production of melatonin; now they think it has more to do with the mismatch of melatonin production and sleep schedules. Either way, short periods sitting under a special lamp is recommended as a treatment, and researchers have wondered whether the the effects of phototherapy might be able to treat chronic mood disorders. Now, Nautilus reports, “research into the circadian underpinnings of chronic depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and [More…]

New Scientific Explanation for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Written by: MICHAEL BYRNE Even as someone that loves ice, slop, rain, snow, and cold, it’s hard not to look at a forecast like this and feel a pinge of grey emptiness: That’s winter around here, basically. Every now and again there will be a proper cold snap and one of those days will flip to snow, and we’ll get buried underneath two feet of the heaviest, wettest slop nature is capable of. It would seem these are conditions uniquely primed for seasonal affective disorder, an extremely common condition considered to be a recurrent form of major depressive disorder. How those [More…]

Help Fund New Research How Blood Absorbs Light

Did you know that scientists still don’t know how light is absorbed in treating SAD? It’s like knowing we need oxygen to live, but not knowing that our blood is capturing oxygen from the air! We are studying the idea that our blood is also capturing light, which improves our mood and energy. This is a radical idea, but it actually makes good sense. If we can understand how light is absorbed, this will truly open a window into the brain. Since doing novel psychiatric research is not funded by the usual funding sources, we are turning to “crowd-funding” to [More…]