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Some Questions About Sunlight, Light Boxes and Vitamin D.?

Question by comet girl…DUCK!: Some questions about sunlight, light boxes and vitamin D.?
1. How long does one need to be in the sun each day to receive the USRDA of vitamin D?

2. How long does one need to be in the sun each day to avoid seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

3. Can you get vitamin D from a light box?

4. I have a friend who says that to combat SAD she would go to a tanning booth and lie down fully clothed and with her head covered with a towel. If the light isn’t hitting your skin or your eyes how would this work?

5. Does anyone have a link to a site where I could purchase a light box?

Thanks, everyone

Best answer:

Answer by oldtimekid2
Since nobody has answered, I’ll toss in my 2 cents.

1. That will depend on several factors including the amount of sunlight at the time (cloudy or clear day), how well your body produces Vitamin D, etc. In general, most doctors that will comment on this recommend being outside (in short sleeves at the most, but more than a bikini) about 30 minutes per day…. not enough to do a lot of damage, but enough to produce good amounts of Vitamin D. Granted, that gets tough in some areas for the winter months.

2. That also depends on factors mentioned in #1, plus how bad you have the disorder, how well other things impact your mood, etc. I know a couple people that had SAD, and even looking outside through the window on a nice day helped. Most of that depression (as I understand it from them) is your brain’s reaction to seeing more daylight, not the Vitamin D itself… otherwise, Vitamin D would help more people with the depression.

3. It depends on the bulb that’s used. Some bulbs don’t emit UV lights, so the skin doesn’t produce Vitamin D, and some emit different amounts of UV light than others.

4. Refer to #2. It’s not the Vitamin D production (if it were, your friend is just wasting her money in the tanning booth), it’s the light that she sees. Without the coverings, the tanning bed would be too bright, but if she gets benefits, it’s because she’s seeing a brighter light that’s not too bright for her…… or it’s completely mental suggestion (hard to say for sure without knowing more).

5. If nobody here has bought one, I would suggest asking other people you know that have SAD and find out where they got them from. You may also want to ask at a local counseling organization (“mental wellness center”, etc) to see if they can recommend a company. Randomly buying one on the Internet runs all sorts of risks, especially if you don’t know/trust the company… there are too many scammers using the Internet to profit from people seeking health.

I hope I could help and I wish you luck!

Add your own answer in the comments!



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