Feeling blue? Try blue light!
The winter season, with shorter days and fewer daylight hours can feel gloomy. The grey and often cloudy weather can really affect our sleep, even productivity and state-of-mind.
Do you sometimes have the winter-time blues? This is also known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Where I live in Australia, the effects are not nearly as severe as in Europe and Scandinavia, or in North America. But I do sometimes spend winter months in a snowed-in scenario, so am very aware of the impact that a lack of sunshine can have.
A post by celebrity doc, Dr. Andrew Weil explains how Light therapy may help. “It uses specially designed boxes that emit full-spectrum light to simulate sunlight. While still a relatively unknown treatment, light therapy has been shown to have positive benefits in addressing many health issues, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), severe premenstrual syndrome, bulimia, and as a non-drug treatment for depression. If you have been suffering from SAD or just feel a little blue this time of year, contact your physician or healthcare provider – depression is a treatable condition; light therapy may be an option he or she recommends for you.”
How I use blue light …
While my own experience with SAD is limited as I don’t spend long periods of time in the cold, dark days of the northern hemisphere, I do use blue light … when I need to. Which is more often for jet lag.
On a trip from Australia to Europe, my transit stop was London and I found myself suddenly groggy and ‘jet-laggy’ at Heathrow. For some reason, I didn’t have my go-to MOLIMED Color Scan with me, but I remembered that I was bringing another device with me … the Philips G0Lite BLU. So, I set it up on a table next to me at the recommended distance of 20-30 inches from my eyes. It was a bit more conspicuous than using the smallish colour scan, but 20 minutes of the set cycle really did the trick. I felt more alert and ‘centred’ and ready for the next part of the journey.
Philips GoLite is a useful and easy- to-use option for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder and because it’s been around for a while there is quite a bit of research on it and a number of reviews as well.
If you get the ‘winter blues’, blue light therapy is something to try. Use whatever light source you have available.
In addition to light therapy, there are some other suggestions in this article in Forbes magazine: “8 ways to fight seasonal depression”. It gives an excellent overview of this condition.