Shedding Light on SAD

The clocks went back last week. For some it brought brighter mornings and the promise of crisp, winter weather. For others it’s the beginning of four months of utter misery; an entire season where every morning’s a struggle to escape from the cosy cocoon of their beds.

You’re not alone if you’re in the latter camp. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) hits an estimated 10% of the population in varying degrees. Some feel a familiar seasonal sluggishness while others may be disabled by the condition, exhibiting all the symptoms of major depression during the winter months.

The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association says that 85% of sufferers respond to a very simple treatment though; light therapy.  When exposed to a strong light source (about ten times the luminosity of domestic lights), for a couple of hours a day, many people with SAD find the symptoms subside.

And, wouldn’t you know, there’s a gadget for that.  Lumie have a long history in the manufacture of light boxes for SAD treatment. They also produce visors that can be worn while working or at the office.  From just £160, Lumie’s battery powered range of visors direct between 1,000 and 3,000 lux of therapeutic light directly into your eyes – resetting the wearer’s body clock and chasing away the winter blues.

I haven’t tried one… yet. The visors look a little bit too Star Trek for me – and I can imagine getting a few funny looks if I took one into the office. But I do use a Lumie Brightspark. That’s a desktop light box, ideal for use while you’re sitting at a computer. And, most mornings, I leap out of bed eager to start work. Unfortunately, that also includes weekends…

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