SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder has become a major problem in the UK and Ireland. Historically we worked and spent much of our time outdoors, today less than 10% of the population work outdoors and the rest of us are indoors under artificial light. In the Summer months when there are longer daylight hours this is OK as we can get all the natural sunshine we need outside of working hours, but in the Winter months it’s not unusual for many of us to go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, sow e get zero exposure to natural light for days on end!
A combination of darker days and poorer weather in the winter, can result in dramatic effects on our minds and bodies. Typical SAD symptoms include poor energy, loss of libido, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and even cravings for sweet foods which will often result in weight gain. However, most SAD lights filter UV light so as to avoid sun damage to the skin, so they do not significantly raise vitamin D production in the body, for that you need real sunshine or a UV lamp. Luckily, there are now products available online which are developed especially to combat SAD, read on below where we highlight two of the best of these new products:-
Lumie Zest – Combination Wake-up Light and SAD Light Therapy
The Lumie Zest is a wake-up sunrise light for gentle awakening in the morning, but is also a bright light therapy device when you need it during the day. The wake-up light gradual sunrise is available using either a 15 or 30 minute timer, plus there is a conventional alarm beep as a back up if you think you need it. If you’re not getting enough sunlight during the day and are suffering from the effects of seasonal affective disorder, then the top-up bright light from Zest is a great alternative to put you in a better mood and boost alertness.
As little as 20 minutes per day has been shown to be enough to make a real difference. The Zest is compact so extremely portable for use at home or when you’re travelling – bright light therapy during the day can helps you feel alert and is a great cure for jet lag! The Lumie Zest is an effective light therapy treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder as the LED’s provide 2,000lux of light therapy at 5 different light levels and is a certified medical device with a 3-year warranty.
VonHaus SAD Mini Daylight Light Box
This is another medically certified device to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and increase energy levels and concentration throughout the day. This VonHaus unit uses 45W energy-efficient UV-free light tubes which produces 10,000 lux to mimic natural sunlight and help alleviate symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. The light tubes are rated for up to 8,000 hours usage and the device comes with a folding stand plus can be wall mounted if you prefer.
The VonHaus SAD Mini Daylight is compact at just 20.7 x 7.4 x 27.3cm and is mains powered. In the UK certified medical devices such as the VonHaus SAD Mini Daylight Light Box are VAT free so often the prices you see quoted do not include VAT which means you may have to be complete a medical declaration when purchasing.