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Research Shows One Hour of Light Therapy Reduces Depression
Researchers from the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine have determined that just one hour of bright light therapy significantly reduces depression and depressed moods.
Depressed patients were given one hour of bright light therapy or an hour of dim light therapy as a placebo. The researchers found that the patients given bright light therapy had reductions in their depression scores ranging from 120% to 130%, using two different depression-testing systems.
The research is significant because it applied a placebo test against the light therapy system – something previous light therapy studies have not done.
In a related study, some of the same researchers tested 15 depressed patients who were diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. They administered different lengths of 10,000 lux of white cool fluorescent light for 20 minutes, 40 minutes and 60 minutes and compared the depression scores with the depression scores of the patients prior to treatment.
The researchers found that 40 minutes of the light therapy significantly improved moods among the patients, and reduced their depressed states. The improvement was greater than the 20 minutes of therapy. But surprisingly, the 60 minutes of light therapy did not result in significantly better improvement of depression than either the 20 or the 40 minutes of therapy…