From SAD to Glad

FOR THE 20 PERCENT of Americans who experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — increased appetite, weight gain, oversleeping — getting natural sunlight can help alleviate the condition, as can light-box therapy. Now there's another treatment available. A recent study of 77 SAD patients published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that 90 minutes of nightly exposure to an ion-generating device, which releases negatively charged particles into the air, was just as effective as light therapy in treating SAD. According to study author Michael Terman, Ph.D., director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at New York — Presbyterian Hospital, hundreds of ionizer gadgets are sold online; but the best, most widely available model shown to benefit SAD patients is the Sphere FreshAIR ($165; www.sphereone.com).

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By Juhie Bhatia

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