I Had No Idea I Was Light Deprived!
Here I am, a member of the SunSprite team trying to make people recognize that we all need light. When it was August, I tried my SunSprite several days in a row, and found I wasn’t getting quite 100%. So I started having my breakfast in a sunny window, and walking more in the early morning. Soon I was racking up some 100% days and feeling more cheerful.
Come September, imagine my dismay when my SunSprite has been telling me lately that even when I am sitting in a sunny window or on my porch for a few minutes here and there, I am not getting enough light to make my SunSprite do its victory dance. I have been getting a tad frustrated that my SunSprite is so hard to please.
My schedule is a bit unforgiving when it comes to getting light. I start my work early (and indoors) at 7:15 AM. And now that we’re moving into fall, sunrise is later, and the dawn’s early light isn’t necessarily bright enough to be beneficial to your health and activate your SunSprite.
So I do what any New Englander should do—I break out my light box! I turn it on and sit in front of it during breakfast to wake me up, and then get my remaining daily light by sitting in a window at work.
Not sure which light box to buy? The companies we recommend to our patients are Sunbox, Northern Lights, and Verilux. They each have a variety of quality products in different shapes, sizes and prices. If you want plenty of bright light, and you have enough space to accommodate a big light, then you should look at The SunSation Combo from Sunbox. Or if you want a less conspicuous, sleeker light box for your desk at work, look at the TRAVeLite Desk Lamp from Northern Lights.
We want to remind everyone that the quickest way to get your bright light “dose” is to use a 10,000 lux lamp for half an hour at the prescribed distance. For example, the 10,000 lux Liberty Happy Light from Verilux (for just under $100) needs to be within 10 inches of your eyes to achieve 10,000 lux.
If you can start using your light box now, you won’t have to wait for the classic winter blues symptoms of low energy, low mood, and inability to focus or sleep easily. Our hope is that the dread of the dark months will gradually diminish as your mind recognizes that you are not going to let your circadian rhythm go out of whack.