London, UK, Dec 12, 2010 – When winter is here, the days are getting longer and there’s a distinct nip within the air. For many of us, this time of year can be a depressing one, for sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it is worse. The disorder was first described in the US in 1984. People with SAD suffer not only from low mood but may also sleep more, overeat and crave carbohydrates.

“Because we operate best when there is light, our brain is organised around it - there’s also a 24-hour clock that predicts when we ought to be operating properly and it is synchronised by light.” Dr. Chris Idzikowski from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre says, “Because the seasons change with light and one needs to have an internal clock that matches the season and keeps us operating properly - Dawn Light, is the synchroniser.”

Dr. Idzikowski, one of the pioneers in the area of sleep science, who chairs the British Sleep Society, comments that light in the morning can treat SAD. “It has been discovered that retinal ganglion cells in our eyes are light-sensitive, particularly to blue light, and that the output of these cells goes directly to the brain's biological clock. The clock normally adjusts to the new day and season by speeding up with exposure to dawn light. In the winter there is less light available to speed the clock up so it starts to drift and run the wrong time causing a cascade of problems resulting in SAD.”

Dr. Idzikowski recommends a device called Sun Touch Plus, provided by a US Healthcare brand, Nature Bright Company. The product produces a simulated dawn to help resynchronize our internal clock. “Where in fact the light comes on before you wake up and even though you have your eyes closed, there is still about 40% light transmission through the eyelids that gets through to the ganglion cells. Therefore, they start resetting your biological clock before you get up.” Dr. Idzikowski emphasizes, “Sun Touch Plus has an effect on shift-work, jet-lag, alertness and sleep.”

For more information, please visit NatureBright’s website

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