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When used properly, light therapy seems to have few side effects.The side effects that do arise include eyestrain, headache, fatigue, irritability, and inability to sleep (when light therapy is used too late in the day).
Symptoms of SAD tend to reoccur at about the same time every year.
Generally, light therapy takes between 30 and 60 minutes each day throughout the fall and winter.
The amount of time required varies with each individual.
Some people experience symptoms severe enough to affect quality of life, and 6 percent require hospitalization.
Many people with SAD report at least one close relative with a psychiatric disorder, most frequently a severe depressive disorder (55 percent) or alcohol abuse (34 percent).