Using a Blue Light Therapy Box for Insomnia and SAD

blue light therapy box for insomnia
I’ve always had trouble falling asleep and decided to give a light therapy box a try.

I’ve been using it consistently for over a year now and it has definitely improved my sleep-wake cycle.

Many nights I just could not fall asleep and would have insomnia for days.
Other times, I would eventually fall asleep, but it would be hours after going to bed.

And sometimes I could fall asleep, but then would wake up it the middle of the night or very early morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.

I’ve heard of using light therapy to treat SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a depression that some people suffer during the light-shortened days of winter, but wasn’t aware until last year that it can help those with sleep disorders too.

Sidenote: These are different than the old SAD light therapy boxes where people had to sit and stare into the light.

With these compact devices, all you have to do is place it within your field of vision.

So, for example, you can use it while eating breakfast or place it on your desk at the office while you work.

How Does Blue Light Therapy Help You Sleep?

If you are unable to expose your eyes to enough natural sunlight, especially in the morning, then blue light therapy may be a good alternative for you.

Light therapy is designed to mimic sunlight, without exposing you to ultraviolet rays.

It will help reset your internal body clock (circadian rhythm) so you can fall asleep when you need to and wake up refreshed instead of tired.

It is a good, natural alternative treatment instead of having to take medication. I use mine first thing in the morning for 15 minutes while having breakfast.

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Overview



Types of Light Therapy Boxes

omega light box therapy for sad or insomnia

The Omega is small and cheap, but emits the same light as the more expensive boxes.

Light boxes range in price from $45 – $300. I wanted to go cheap, as long as the product delivered the same quality of light as the more expensive boxes, so I purchased the Omega SAD Light Therapy Device.

I’ve been using it for over a year now and it hasn’t failed me yet. The plastic housing is kind of cheap, but the light works fine and does the job.

The Omega SAD (cheap) and the Philips goLITE BLU (mid-priced) are two popular light therapy devices and are both rated highly at Amazon. Here is a comparison of the two:

What Both Device Have In Common: Type of Light, Programable, Travel Case

  • Both emit short blue light wavelength at 470 nm at 10,000 lux (illuminance intensity) This is the most important feature to look for on a light therapy box, everything else is just cosmetic.
  • Both have a programable timer and adjustable intensity.
  • Both come with travel case.

Size Comparison

  • The Omega is small, 5.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches which I like because it’s easy to travel with.
  • The Philips goLITE BLU Light is a little larger at 7 x 7 x 7 inches which is still compact enough to travel with and the advantage of having a wider light field.

Power Source

  • The Omega must be plugged in to use.
  • The Philips runs on a rechargeable battery, so it is more flexible to use as an unplugged unit.

Warranty/Guarantee

  • Omega – 1-year seller warranty
  • Philips 45-day money back guarantee

Price

At the time of writing this (since Amazon prices often change), the Omega was ~$45 and the Philips was ~$140.

Conclusion:

  • If you want a very compact, inexpensive light therapy device, get the Omega Blue Light.
  • If you want a compact, mid-priced light therapy device you can use without needing an outlet, get the Philips Blue Light.

Note: Experts recommend using light therapy under the supervision of a physician to determine your specific sleep disorder and subsequent treatment plan (duration and time of day).

If you are taking melatonin to help you fall asleep, be sure to read this page about melatonin dosage warnings.

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Comments

  1. Do you know where I could get info on how to set the Omega Sunlight? I’ve searched online and cannot find a manual or instruction guide.

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