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

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…]

Bright light therapy proves bright idea for treating depressed elderly people.

Exposure to bright light may be just as effective for depressed elderly people as taking antidepressant medication, scientists have found, and the benefits seem to last even after the treatment is discontinued. In the Dutch study, 89 people aged 60 or older with a diagnosis of major depression were given a light box to take home and instructed to sit beside it for an hour each morning over three weeks. For half the group, the light it emitted was bright light, while others were subjected to a dim red light. After three weeks, more of those exposed to the bright [More…]

Spring weather can affect your mood and sleep. Light therapy can help.

After the winter that just wouldn’t quit, spring has finally arrived. People across the country can now put away their snow shovels and rest easy until the end of the year. Or, at least, that’s what everyone hopes. No, there isn’t ice or snow in your local forecast, but there might be problems ahead with the “rest easy” part of your post-winter euphoria. Spring can be a difficult season for sleep and your mood. Even after you’ve dealt with daylight saving time, there are tons of problems that can affect your mood and sleep. “In spring and summer, you’re getting [More…]

Morning light exposure helps you manage your weight.

A surprising new study sheds light on what it could really take to lose weight. Good Housekeeping Reports: We love it when science tells us to do things we actually love doing. Today’s good news: If you normally spend your mornings cooped up in a car or cubicle, go outside and enjoy some fresh air, because new research has found a very strong link between morning light and body mass index (BMI, which is calculated from your weight and height). A Northwestern Medicine study released today has determined that the timing, intensity, and length of your light exposure during the [More…]