A new study has found that exposure to bright light can restore the sinking sexual desires of men during the cold winter months.
Scientists from the University of Siena in Italy have discovered that sitting in front of a light box can increase testosterone levels, boosting sexual satisfaction in the process.
The study was comprised of 38 men who had complained of spiraling sexual desire. Half of the group were treated with a light box, while a secondary group were exposed to an adapted light box that was wired to produce significantly less light.
The participants received doses of light for an hour, during the early morning, for two weeks straight.
The scientists discovered when the study was complete that the men exposed to the bright, unregulated light, recorded a tripling in sexual satisfaction, while the men who sat in front of the adapted light found that their libido remained significantly depressed.
‘In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November until April and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October.’
When the results were more carefully considered it was found that the men who reported better sex had significantly higher levels of testosterone.
‘In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November until April and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October,’ Prof Andrea Fagiolini, who led the study commented.
This fact is mirrored in spikes in the birth rate, as June often records the highest rates of conception.
The libido-restoring light box contained bright fluorescent tubes that emitted light at ten times the intensity of the the light emitted by household fixtures.
Light boxes are also used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a depression that strikes during the winter months when the hours of available daylight are at their lowest.
The scientists believe that the light box exposure inhibits the pineal gland in the centre of the brain, which prompted the noted increase in testosterone production.
Testosterone injections, antidepressants, and other medications can be used to treat a collapse in sexual desire, but the use of light would have none of the side effects associated with these options. The results will be presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress in Vienna later in the year.