I was complaining to a friend the other day about the winter blues seeming to have taken hold of me. Her suggestion? A SAD lamp. Of course, I totally pictured sad little lamp IKEA commercial but what she really meant were the lamps that are designed to simulate the sun's uplifting effects and combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, SAD is a very real thing — and light therapy is the best approach for treating it. From his website:
Light therapy has been reported to work in 80 percent of all cases of SAD, and some studies have found that sitting in front of a 10,000-lux (lux is a measurement of the intensity of light) light box for 30 minutes every morning is as effective for SAD patients as treatment with some types of antidepressants. Light therapy is believed to work by its effect on brain chemicals that play a role in regulating mood. This treatment can relieve symptoms within a few days, but sometimes takes as long as two weeks or more.
• Day-light Sky from Amazon — This contemporary design lamp has gotten rave reviews from Amazon buyers. $170
• HappyLight Deluxe Energy Lamp from Verilux — With its large surface, this lamp may not be the best option for small spaces but its' great for maximum coverage. $132.97
• Syrcadian Blue SB-1000 Sad Light Therapy Device from Amazon — This small unit can clip to a laptop, book or even car visor for an uplifting experience on the go. $68
• LUXOR Bright Light Therapy System from Light Therapy Products — This pyramid shaped light is made in North America. $189
• UltraLux I Light Box from Full Spectrum Solutions — This light box would be perfect for placing on the table while you enjoy your morning coffee. $229
I guess in a way these SAD lamps have already worked for me. In researching this post I was thoroughly entertained by the number of cheesy photos of people enjoying their lights. I can imagine the direction given to the models — OK, smile like you're sitting on a warm beach but look really comfortable because you're home. And just like that my mood has lifted. Thanks, SAD lamps!
(Images: As credited above.)