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Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859

    Anyone Use A Light Box for SAD?

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    So, each Autumn my perky, spunkiness turns to fatigue, desire to sleep more despite having a good night's rest, decreased energy, pessimism, and craving of carbs. I just want to eat cake with frosting and hibernate until Spring. When the sun arrives (whenever that is in Oregon) it's like a light switch and I'm super energetic, optimistic, etc. So I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. It sucks because Autumn is actually my favorite time of year, yet emotionally & physically I suffer. My MD said to continue to exercise regularly, take 2,000 IU vitamin D daily (during the dark months) and to begin using a light box (bought a Philips goLite Blu rechargeable). I took an online test (per the Philips box instructions) to get an idea of what my circadian rhythms are doing then it recommended the best times of day and duration for the light. I plan to keep a "mood journal" with details to document how things go. If I don't improve the MD can put me on antidepressants for the dark months. I'm perfectly fine when it's light out; this only happens when there is less light. She said their clinic tested many patients last winter, who suffered more than usual because our winter was months longer than usual. She said almost everyone was vitamin D deficient.

    Anyway, I felt like I was rambling. Hope that made sense. Does anyone or has anyone tried this?
    Thanks. I'll keep you posted.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    124
    Ugh. I hear you completely. Let us know how the light box works. I kind of want to set up a whole room with therapy lighting to have somewhere to find refuge. Portland winters are hard. Not really cold, but so dark!

    My former next-door neighbor is a very active 83-year-old who's lived in the Portland area all her life. A few years ago she switched to a mostly-vegan, gluten-free, extremely-low-fat diet. She told me then that the first winter after the switch was the first in decades that she hadn't had to break out her therapy light. It's anecdotal, and I love cheese too much to go down that road in any case, but I'm trying to eat more greens and get more vitamin D. I hope you do better this winter.
    Last edited by Ered_Lithui; 09-30-2011 at 11:49 PM.
    2011 Scott CX Team/Koobi Xenon
    2005 Bike Friday NWT/Selle Royal Lookin
    2001 Bianchi Giro/Terry Butterfly Ti
    1970s Centurion Le Mans/Ancient waffle saddle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I don't think I would be considered as having full-blown SAD, but when I worked in an office with no windows, just installing ordinary full-spectrum Vita-Lite bulbs helped immensely with the sleep problems I was having. If you have any say over the lighting where you work, you might try full-spectrum bulbs there, in addition to your light box at home.

    Good luck.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    Thanks. It's morning and I'm using it now for 30 minutes. Of course, I'm aware of the placebo affect... I hope to get out for a walk to this morning just to enjoy the environment and get some fresh air. As expected it's cloudy and likely going to rain.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    I just realized that I posted this in the wrong section. This is NOT cycling related.

    Apologies....:0
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    139
    I love living in the NW, but our short days and lack of sun in the winter months can get brutal. My neighbor uses the lightbox, but she resorted to antidepressants last winter. My hubby takes trips to AZ in November and April to help him get through the winter/early spring. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    546
    this topic has been discussed at length in the past in the TE forum - worth looking up. tokie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    I'm really shocked that so far, I've not had any mood issues during the winter here. This will be our 4th winter and the first three were really not nearly as dreadful as I imagined.

    I think that for me, a BIG part of it is spending pretty much every weekend entirely outside during the daylight hours, regardless of what the weather is doing. It started as a necessity for us with the farm, but now I kind of make sure I do it whether there is work to do or not.

    Weekdays are harder, and getting up to milk goats when it's pitch black out is very difficult. But they HAVE to be milked, so its not like I can just blow it off. I think it helps that I'm outside for a bit every, single day...even if it is dark out!

    I hope the light box works for you. I've never used anything like that but I've known people who have had some success with them.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,545
    Here's one previous discussion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,811
    while living in the Netherlands for 15 years, when the sun didn't get above 30 degrees above the horizon, and didn't even show until 9:30 in the am, and it was pitch dark by 4:00pm in the winter, the light box, and a daily walk at noon, no matter what the weather, even if it was liquid sunshine, were my lifesavers. The change in the light intensity is important, so even if it cloudy, you will still benefit indirectly on a hormonal andemotional level, plus fresh air is always a plus. There is definitely something emotionally bracing about walking in a 35 degree pouring rain and howling gale, floolwed by a warm shower and a hot fresh cup of coffee. Hope the light box helps.

    marni
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,545
    I got a light, and it seemed to help my sleep rather quickly. I'd say it's worth a try.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,176
    I want a full spectrum computer screen so I can play internet and get light tx!
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    Hi all. I have been using it regularly for several weeks now and it definitely has improved both my sleep quality and my sleep/wake cycle. I have more energy, minimal carb cravings like I had before. I don't feel like I want to go hibernate. I am not over sleeping then feeling groggy like before. I also use it around 2:00 pm briefly to perk me up during my mid day low energy period.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

 

 

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