Treating the Winter Blues with an Energy Lamp

I’ve never been a huge fan of winter. I’m just not a cold weather person. But it wasn’t till I moved to the Netherlands that winter actually took a toll on me. Right now the sun rises at 8:33am and the sunset is at 4:28pm. That’s not many hours of daylight in a day and it can have a big impact on some people, including myself. It is only while living here that I learned of SAD (a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder).

They say that the lack of sunlight upsets your biological clock (sleep patterns) and causes hormone problems which affect your mood. Some of the symptoms include feeling lethargic, getting easily irritated, wanting to sleep more, and craving carbs.

I feel it the most on the days in which I work behind my laptop. On some occasions, at around 4pm, I just can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Once it is dark, I don’t want to go out anymore. When I have something to do in the evening, I really have to push myself out of the door.

I’ve been very curious to try light therapy for a while, and to see if it actually makes a difference. These kinds of lamps simulate the exposure to sunlight. This past week Pieter and I tested the Medisana LT 480 Daylight lamp. We always have breakfast and dinner together, and nowadays it is dark at that time. So we just sit in front of the light while we eat. And we really feel a difference. Now, we don’t feel hyper as if we had taken an energy drink but we do feel more awake. In the morning, it helps me get the day started and in the evening, it helps me to stay awake till we go to bed. I am the kind of person that can very easily fall asleep on the couch, or anywhere for that matter. So I am really happy with this lamp. It makes these dark days more manageable.

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