Scientists from Columbia University, NY have found a solution for people suffering from winter depression, which is largely triggered by reduced sunlight. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
They have found a Simulator, named as Dawn Simulator that mimics the atmosphere of dawn, helping in reducing depressions linked to lack of winter sun and the "Negative Air Ionization" delivered at the bedside, to be effective as well.
Scientists have claimed that the machine that boosts the light levels during sleep is an effective treatment for patients suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Dawn simulation and negative air ionization - both activated toward the end of sleep - prove to be effective and established treatments for SAD.
According to the bright light therapy, SAD sufferers have to sit at a bright light box for 30 minutes during the breakfast time. Dawn simulation and negative air ionization are more convenient, being delivered automatically and innocuously during the final hours of sleep by an apparatus placed next to the bed.
In their study, Dr. Michael Terman and Dr. Jiuan Su Terman of Columbia University randomly assigned 99 adults with SAD to one of five treatments: dawn simulation equivalent to that of May in northern temperate latitudes; a brief dawn "pulse"; bright light after waking; high flow rate negative air ionization; or low flow rate ionization.
The investigators reported that the adults assigned with full dawn simulation, high negative air ionization, and bright light therapy proved roughly equal in terms of improvement in symptoms of SAD.
Improvement were seen in 57% adults in the bright light therapy, 50% in those dawn simulation group and 48% in the high air ionization group, in contrast to that of the improvements, which were seen in just 23% of those who got low ionization and in 43% of subjects in the sunrise pulse group.
Though the sunrise pulse treatment was therapeutically active in some patients, it leads to the persistence, emergence and exacerbation of depressive symptoms, making it an "unfavorable option" - the Termans added.
To conclude - while morning bright light therapy remains the first-line intervention for SAD, with thousands of successes and satisfied patients - dawn simulation and negative air ionisation may also be considered as options.