How Does Light Therapy Work?
Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. This has been proven by many scientific studies, including one reported in the well-respected medical journal Lancet in 2002. This study measured blood levels of serotonin, finding that production of serotonin by the brain was directly related to the duration of bright sunlight.
Likewise, in the latest study, people who were exposed to bright blue light for an hour each morning for just three weeks experienced more improvements in their depressive symptoms than the control group, which was exposed to red light. They also had increased levels of melatonin in the evening, which helps with sleep and regulating your internal body clock, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Further, the improvements felt by the light-therapy group were comparable to those experienced by using antidepressant drugs.
Light Therapy Promising for Treating Major DepressionJanuary 26, 2011