Let There Be Light
November 7, 2004 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Looking for experiences/suggestions regarding light therapy boxes or any similar such technology. Thank you.
posted by mathis23 to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Can't help you with the light boxes but I've been using the SunUp dawn simulator for months now and it has changed my life. Due to my work I often have to get up at 4 or sometimes 3am. I used to wake up feeling physically ill. I dreaded mornings. They aren't so bad now.

Should you go the light box route, I highly recommend the gentle awakening that a dawn simulator can provide.
posted by yangwar at 7:42 PM on November 7, 2004

I bought one of these for my wife two years ago, I think it was approximately 200 euros. She uses it during wintertime and reads in front of it for half an hour. She says it works, but you need the discipline to use them. And don't use them before you go to bed, because you will never fall asleep. If possible, replace your office lighting with broad-spectrum lights. As an alternative, my wife suggest lunchtime walks, which helps her with her winter blues.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 8:23 PM on November 7, 2004

!!! I am just about to buy one myself, because Mr. Sidhedevil gets cranky once we stop saving the daylight.

My advice, after way too much research, is that you should only buy one that you know is going to be convenient to use. In our case, we're buying a small one that fits on the kitchen table so Mr. Sidhedevil can shine it on himself while eating his morning cereal and reading the paper.

Also, be sure you get one that has at least 10,000 lux and that has UVA/UVB shielding.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:28 PM on November 7, 2004

We've had a dawn simulator for a number of years. It's a big help. We also have an Ultralux, which also helps, but swordfishtrombones is right that you need to be disciplined about using it.
posted by lobakgo at 11:19 PM on November 7, 2004

For several years I've used an earlier version of Apollo's SunTouch model. The ionizer is noisy and gives off an unplessant metallic odor so I don't recommend bothering with that feature unless they. The light, however, has made a noticeable difference during SAD season. Do pay attention to "treatment distance" recommendations for various models, then buy the maximum that you can reasonably afford because it gets to be a nuisance when you have to sit for 30-60 minutes with one of those "12-18 inch range" models stuck right in front of you where it's blocking your view of the newspaper (remember that you need to put the light in the middle of your line of sight).

I love mine. Well worth it.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:54 PM on November 7, 2004

...feature unless they have solved that problem.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:56 PM on November 7, 2004

We counterintuitively get up 15-30 minutes earlier in the Winter and roll out of bed and turn on the blindingly bright overhead lights. Then we get back into bed and piss and moan for a little bit until it's time to get up. It makes a huge difference. It's sort of a light therapy tack, not using full spectrum bulbs or anything but by the time we get up we're not exatly bright eyed and bushy tailed but we're not crotchety and mopey either.
posted by jessamyn at 9:21 AM on November 8, 2004

I've done two experiments with home-brew light therapy; they both worked out well. I wouldn't recommend home-brew: generally there's a real risk of UV damage to one's eyes ('cause the only good high-intensity, cheap, readily available lights are halogen/hps/mv).

The more-successful of the two experiments included indoor herb gardening. I got the light I needed, plus I got to diddle doing something relatively mindless yet useful and kind of fun. Had to wear sunglasses because of the HPS light, yet it was still effective: gives some credence to that third-eye idea.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 AM on November 8, 2004

Herb gardening . . . yeah . . . right :)
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:41 PM on November 8, 2004

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