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I've been tested for Vit D and my GDoc has me taking some to help with depression.  In the last visit with my PDoc I asked about the SAD Light for winter depression and asked him if this was a real thing or just a bunch of BS?  He said that it has been shown to work and wrote me a when and how to.

What I want to ask is has anyone used this?  Is it worth doing?  If you do use it do you have any recomendations on what to get?

Thanks.

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I found this podcast about vit D and thought it was interesting.  I'm not sure that the guy is an expert but it sounds like he went about learning this stuff in an intellegent way

https://www.grc.com/health/vitamin-d.htm

So I gather that the SAD light is just "sunlight" that you plug in.  Another way to get your body into a healthy zone.    Its been raining days and days here and while I don't know its its more depressing?  Its certainly not a walk in the sunshine.

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I tried one of those lights and it didn't work for me, but that's because I don't have SAD. If anything my depression gets worse as the days start getting longer in late February or March.

Yeah, those lights are designed to be full spectrum, i.e. sunshine in a box,

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I've tried both blue spectrum and full spectrum lights. I did not notice much difference with the blue spectrum light. The full spectrum light helps energize me and lifts my mood--but this is a subtle shift. It doesn't take the place of meds or therapy, but it does improve my quality of life in the darker months. I am able to get more work done at my desk. I am more motivated and can concentrate better. I use both a 10,000 lux white light therapy box and also a Philips wake up light, that mimics the sunrise.

I think any 10,000 lux light therapy box would do, but here's the one I own:

Day-Light Classic 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Lamp  

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009MFUWC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_XMTVxb5F8G0MX

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Thanks wren.  I was looking at that one so glad to know I'm on the right track.  PDoc said to get the "full Spectrum" 10,000 lux.   I don't remember where I read this or maybe I'm just getting it wrong but doesn't blue light have something to do with sleep problems (or solutions?)   Anyhow I don't think PDoc believes this is going to replace TDoc or meds.   Maybe just add to the functional bit which in my case can always take some improvent. 

Thanks again - I appreciate the feedback.

P.s. I'm very curious about the sunrise light?  Is it timed to actual sunrise or do you set it like an alarm clock?  I think that would be a lot better then BZZT BZZT BZZT or BEEP BEEP BEEP

 

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It didn't work for me. I found it exceedingly annoying, too, making its daily use a real bother. If anything, it just gave me a headache. I was half hoping that it would trigger mania, as I had been depressed for so long, but that didn't happen either.

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On August 25, 2016 at 11:10 AM, HAL9000 said:

Thanks wren.  I was looking at that one so glad to know I'm on the right track.  PDoc said to get the "full Spectrum" 10,000 lux.   I don't remember where I read this or maybe I'm just getting it wrong but doesn't blue light have something to do with sleep problems (or solutions?)   Anyhow I don't think PDoc believes this is going to replace TDoc or meds.   Maybe just add to the functional bit which in my case can always take some improvent. 

Thanks again - I appreciate the feedback.

P.s. I'm very curious about the sunrise light?  Is it timed to actual sunrise or do you set it like an alarm clock?  I think that would be a lot better then BZZT BZZT BZZT or BEEP BEEP BEEP

 

There is debate regarding the use of blue light as opposed to blue spectrum. You definitely do not want blue light close to bedtime, unless you are trying to shift your bedtime later. But this is also true of the full spectrum light close to bedtime! Full spectrum contains ALL colors/wavelengths of light mixed together, so it includes blue light waves. Also of note: the angle at which the light hits your eyes matters. The light must shine from above you in order to stimulate the bottom of your eyeballs--because that is what triggers the release of "wake up" hormones.

The sunrise light by Philips: You program it with your desired wake time, which is the time it will reach full strength light. You also program it with the duration you want it to begin the light (sunrise). So, if I want the sunrise to happen over a 30min period (default standard), then the light will begin 30min prior to when I actually want to wake up. The light starts as a very deep orange and then gradually shifts to yellow as it gets brighter, then shifts to white at its brightest. At the end of the light shift, you can program it to have birds chirping or a beep-beep alarm, whichever you prefer. Obviously, I use the birds. The birds song starts out softly and gets louder and louder. This has been my favorite alarm clock EVER! It is the most gentle and it is effective. It also sets my circadian rhythm daily. Often (or always?) people who are unipolar or bipolar depressed also have circadian rhythm problems. Getting appropriate light at the right times of day and having a set bedtime AND set wake time makes a big difference.

Note: BIPOLAR should use caution with light therapy boxes. Consult with a psychiatrist before using, as it can trigger mania--and not in a good way, if there is a good way. Just don't do it.

Headaches are a possible side effect to light therapy boxes. If this happens, turn it off and cut back on the amount of time you are using it going forward. Also, make sure the box is at the recommended distance from your eyes.

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  • 1 month later...

I got a SAD light and the lady who sold it to me said that she does a months "rental" then if it works turns that into a sale.  And all but one that she sold were kept and they really did work!  So I've been sitting around one in the morning for a week and I don't know how it does anything (Still seems like Voodoo) but I think it does help me so I'm keeping it.  Maybe its the sit with the light on for a while before stumbling out of bed.  Which would be funny if thats how it really worked but who how why?  I don't care.

 

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15 hours ago, HAL9000 said:

I got a SAD light and the lady who sold it to me said that she does a months "rental" then if it works turns that into a sale.  And all but one that she sold were kept and they really did work!  So I've been sitting around one in the morning for a week and I don't know how it does anything (Still seems like Voodoo) but I think it does help me so I'm keeping it.  Maybe its the sit with the light on for a while before stumbling out of bed.  Which would be funny if thats how it really worked but who how why?  I don't care.

 

That's awesome you can try it out for free!! Hope it helps. 

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I only realised when I finished wriiting this that you now have gone for an SAD light. Please feel to disregard this if you get on well with the SAD lamp.

I suffer from SAD (at least I recall my P.Dr saying it seems likely anyhow) and one thing that made winters way more bare able was not an SAD light, but instead a light alarm. Maybe you've heard of it? Instead of an alarm that uses sound (be it bells, or digital beeps, etc) you get an alarm that uses light. Im someone who will sleep through a flash flood and have tried all sorts of alarms, (including mechanical bells) but light alarms cant be beaten. When winter is in full swing and theres maybe only a 6 hours of sunlight a day, being woken up with light makes a strong impression on my mornings.

If you have £150 to spare I would highly recommend getting a decent one (avoid a Lumi becasue A) they arent very good compared to others and B) are prone to breaking after 9 months or so). I use this Philips one and while I wouldn't say it single handedly saved me from SAD, at the same time I felt far fewer effects of SAD. 

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