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Health Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #101
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(02-06-2015 02:32 AM)Georges89 Wrote:  Another thought on sleep quality and bright lights is, try going to bed at the same time on the weekends as in the week. That way you reduce lag effect on Monday from your body clock changing over the weekend and reduce that bad Monday feeling. I admit though, I haven't actually consistently done this, it'd mainly a theory, but going to try to this weekend.

Excellent point. A lot of guys fuck themselves over by sleeping in on weekends (because they're out late the night before, or just because they get too little sleep during the week and are trying to catch up) and then come Monday they are dragging their tails all day. This is something you can get away with when you're very young, but is an increasingly bad idea when you get a little older.

In general, the best sleep schedule is one that is absolutely regular and consistent, waking up same time every morning and going to sleep same time every night, weekday or weekend, rain or shine. This kind of regularity is probably the single best thing you can do for your long-term health and well-being. It cannot always be done with perfect rigor, but it is the ideal. And one of the great benefits of bright light therapy is precisely that it entrains you to this kind of regularity when used correctly and consistently.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
02-06-2015 07:55 PM
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The Reactionary Tree Offline
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Post: #102
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Liz of Oz,

I am aware of the health effects from working night shift. I do not think I will be going to days any time soon. I have no desire to at this point. I work alone, pull a six figure salary, and get every other week off (7 days on, 7 days off). I am doing everything in my power to manage my health in the mean time. My current job situation is just too good to walk away from at this point in time. Literally, the only negative of it is that I work night shift. Other than that, it is great. You are right though that I probably should not do this as a long term gig. Your thread may have added a few years on to my life so I owe you because I am already sleeping much better.

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02-06-2015 09:23 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #103
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I believe I am now qualified enough to comment on the effectiveness of bright light therapy, having done it intermittently the last month and a half.

I work a night shift from 6 pm to 6 am, so my schedule used to look like this.

4 pm : Wake up, morning routine
5 pm : furiously eat a large meal as fast as I could
5:30 pm : Leave for work
6 pm - 6 am : Work
6:30 am : Lay in bed, try to sleep in spite of the kids screaming outside getting ready for school, the sun rising, and assorted random noises like snow plows or the weather. Wake up several times during the "night" depending on what was going on outside. Probably wouldn't even get to sleep until at least 7:30.
4 pm : Wake up, rinse and repeat


Now it looks more like this
2:30 pm : Wake up refreshed, drink coffee and read while enjoying the sun lamp for a half hour.
3:00 pm : go to the gym for an hour
4:00 pm : Eat a large meal, get ready for work
6-6 : Work
6:30 am : Fall asleep right away, no tossing and turning and no problems staying asleep
2:30 pm : Wake up, rinse and repeat

It looks like I've gained at least an hour or more a day from the sun lamp, in addition to better quality sleep. I also don't feel nearly as depressed as I used to (I have never, ever taken medication to treat depression, I just noticed that I felt more upbeat than usual). In the wintertime in years past I felt a much bigger need to binge drink, presumably to fill in the lack of sunshine, but after getting the sun lamp I haven't been drinking nearly as much and I've cut down smoking cigarettes from a pack a day to about 5 a day. I'm not sure if it's related to the sun lamp but I would not be surprised if it was.

edit: If I had to theorycraft here, nicotine and alcohol are used by people to regulate their mood. The sunbox does all that and more without the negative side effects. I can't wait to use this thing to wake up at 5 am on a consistent basis once I go back to school in the fall. I've turned into somewhat of a light box evangelist with the depressed people I know, to say this is the stuff of magic is not an exaggeration. I did the same thing when I "discovered" lifting weights three years ago, haha.

Come to think of it, I've had lower general levels of anxiety in the last month and a half.

All in all, well worth the 200 bucks I spent on it. 10/10 would buy again.

Thanks Lizard of Oz, this interesting piece of technology has definitely improved my life for the better.

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(This post was last modified: 02-10-2015 03:11 PM by Hannibal.)
02-10-2015 02:43 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #104
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Hannibal, thanks for the detailed post. As good as the results you're getting are, you will get even better results if you use the light box with absolute consistency -- that is, same time every day with as close to perfect regularity as possible. That is the very best way to entrain any sleeping/waking schedule. (If you are doing that already so much the better but your use of "intermittently" made me think that might not be the case).

That said, I am truly delighted (lol) that this has helped you so much -- I have seen very nearly miraculous effects from consistent light therapy, and I am not one to toss around a word like miraculous.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
02-10-2015 06:47 PM
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #105
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Fuck, it's hard to wake up at 7am on weekends, I always sleep in a bit and just skip the light. Can't comment yet until I get like 14 days straight in!
02-10-2015 08:30 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #106
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
komatiite, how much later do you get up on weekends? If it's only a little, like half an hour or even an hour, you should still use the light box when you wake up rather than skip it completely -- that is acceptable after you've done an induction of 10 consecutive days of waking up and using it same time every day.

Of course, the ideal is always to wake up at the same time every morning, weekday or weekend. That is what results in the best entrainment and in the most restful and healthiest sleep over time.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
02-10-2015 08:41 PM
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Ensam Offline
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Post: #107
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Got one of the portable lights posted earlier in this thread. The thing is amazing. I sleep with it by my bed and now when I hit the snooze button on my phone I tap the light on. I'm up an ready to go in minutes and not feeling tired at all. I do find that with the small lamp distance matters a lot. I try and keep it less than 12 inches from my face.

Next step will be to get a larger unit I can mount over my bed and hook up to an alarm.
02-10-2015 10:57 PM
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #108
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(02-10-2015 08:41 PM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  komatiite, how much later do you get up on weekends? If it's only a little, like half an hour or even an hour, you should still use the light box when you wake up rather than skip it completely -- that is acceptable after you've done an induction of 10 consecutive days of waking up and using it same time every day.

Of course, the ideal is always to wake up at the same time every morning, weekday or weekend. That is what results in the best entrainment and in the most restful and healthiest sleep over time.

Yeah I will start givin'er this weekend, need to catch up with chores and stuff anyways. Either way my initial impressions are just so-so, I do sort of get a nice morning Jolt when I do the lightbox, and it is nice to actually feel sleepy at 10-11 pm, but obviously I haven't been consistent enough to notice any positive psychological changes. Shouldn't be too tough since I'm off the booze these days so no hangover excuse to get my ass out of bed at 7ish every morning...
02-10-2015 11:45 PM
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Georges89 Offline
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Post: #109
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
If anyone wants any further proof on the effectiveness of bright lights, I managed to revive my dying house plant yesterday using it! My plant looked close to complete decay, completely wilting and droopy. I gave it some water (main reason it was dying was that I had forgot to water it, I know..) but after an hour of my bright light a few inches next to it, it was like I had given my plant steriods lol.

Quite incredible. Anyway, just goes to show if nature is responding the bright lights, its definitely not placebo!
02-15-2015 09:56 AM
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Vice Offline
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Post: #110
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I got the Philips Blu Light a week ago and it's definitely helped me. I've slightly more energy but more importantly it's helped regulate my circadian rhythm.
02-20-2015 07:13 AM
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Biz Offline
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Post: #111
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Liz, How's this box look? Wasn't quite sure if it was blue or full spectrum..?

http://www.amazon.com/NatureBright-SunTo...B000W8Y7FY
03-03-2015 03:12 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #112
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(03-03-2015 03:12 PM)Biz Wrote:  Liz, How's this box look? Wasn't quite sure if it was blue or full spectrum..?

http://www.amazon.com/NatureBright-SunTo...B000W8Y7FY

Biz, I can't recommend this box. The "ionizer" add-on is garbage, you don't want that. And it looks to me like a poorly built cheap box. It's worth paying a little more to get one built right.

The one suggested in the OP is great:

http://sunbox.com/product/sunlight-jr-2/

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
03-03-2015 03:24 PM
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Biz Offline
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Post: #113
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Gotcha.

Wanted to see if there was anything comparable at a cheap price before I ordered.
03-03-2015 03:25 PM
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scubadude Offline
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Post: #114
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(03-03-2015 03:12 PM)Biz Wrote:  Liz, How's this box look? Wasn't quite sure if it was blue or full spectrum..?

http://www.amazon.com/NatureBright-SunTo...B000W8Y7FY

I've had this one since for about a year and a half. The ionizer is garbage but I dodn't buy it for that. It does what it's supposed to do. I've dropped it several times and the bulbs haven't broken and it still works.
03-26-2015 01:38 PM
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Magnesium Chloride Offline
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Post: #115
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
What do you guys think about this one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JF3...JKSMY09R3W
04-12-2015 06:11 AM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #116
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(04-12-2015 06:11 AM)Magnesium Chloride Wrote:  What do you guys think about this one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JF3...JKSMY09R3W

I don't like it. It's a cheaply made device and you get what you pay for. The LEDs will burn out, and it probably does not really deliver 10,000 Lux (which is what you want) unless you literally hold it right next to your eyes. That's not to say that you can't get some benefit even from this light box, but I would recommend paying a little more and getting something of proven quality (like the one suggested in the OP).

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
04-12-2015 08:38 AM
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LeBeau Offline
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Post: #117
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
My apologies if this has been covered already, but would you get the same effects exposing yourself to sunlight through large windows for 30 mins at the same time each morning?

I wonder if I did a workout and stretches in front of windows with the sun streaming in for 30 mins if that would help in any comparable way?
04-13-2015 02:00 AM
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Magnesium Chloride Offline
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Post: #118
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(04-12-2015 08:38 AM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  
(04-12-2015 06:11 AM)Magnesium Chloride Wrote:  What do you guys think about this one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JF3...JKSMY09R3W

I don't like it. It's a cheaply made device and you get what you pay for. The LEDs will burn out, and it probably does not really deliver 10,000 Lux (which is what you want) unless you literally hold it right next to your eyes. That's not to say that you can't get some benefit even from this light box, but I would recommend paying a little more and getting something of proven quality (like the one suggested in the OP).

I appreciate your advice. I would likely get the one in the OP.

Can you explain further what you mean by cheaply made? I dont know enough about lightboxes to be able to tell the differences between this one and other proven quality ones. It does say 10,000 Lux too, so it is rather curious how it likely doesnt have it.
04-13-2015 02:16 AM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #119
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(04-13-2015 02:16 AM)Magnesium Chloride Wrote:  
(04-12-2015 08:38 AM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  
(04-12-2015 06:11 AM)Magnesium Chloride Wrote:  What do you guys think about this one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JF3...JKSMY09R3W

I don't like it. It's a cheaply made device and you get what you pay for. The LEDs will burn out, and it probably does not really deliver 10,000 Lux (which is what you want) unless you literally hold it right next to your eyes. That's not to say that you can't get some benefit even from this light box, but I would recommend paying a little more and getting something of proven quality (like the one suggested in the OP).

I appreciate your advice. I would likely get the one in the OP.

Can you explain further what you mean by cheaply made? I dont know enough about lightboxes to be able to tell the differences between this one and other proven quality ones. It does say 10,000 Lux too, so it is rather curious how it likely doesnt have it.

Well, for example, here is something from a couple of reviews of this product. By the way, a good way to find informative Amazon reviews is to look at 3 star reviews, they are rarely by shills either for or against the product; the shills will usually go for 5 or 1 stars depending on which side they're on, sometimes 4 or 2 if they're trying to be clever; rarely will they give it a middle rating. Anyway, here is one review:

Quote:18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3it's cheaply made, or meh.
ByMaster Bon March 9, 2012
Verified Purchase
pros:
I have to say that a) I can actually tell that it is working, I use it in the bathroom pointing at the shower, so that the 30/45 minute setting corresponds to my shower lengths and helps me wake up. b) if I glance at it, I see an array of blue afterdots in my vision, just like when I look at the sun.

cons:
- the case really does feel cheap, definitely not worth $60.
- Already in the past 30 minutes of usage, 3 of the LEDs burned out. Just like others have observed, it doesn't just *look* cheaply made, it is.
- 3 LED's burning out so quickly is freaking ridiculous. It means that they are pumping more volts into the leds than they are designed to carry all in order to save some cents on using less LEDs.


I recommend that you save your money or get a different product. This device gets really high reviews, and sure it works as a mood lifter, but you'll also be irritated within 30 minutes that it is no longer 10,000 lux, but 9,500. I gave it 5 stars for doing the job and being lightweight, and minus 2 stars for being crap.

And here is another:

Quote:10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3Spectral analysis of this product.
ByStacey W. "Stacey"on February 3, 2015
I can't deny that there are a LOT of positive reviews here. I will update this review when I've given it a good try. However, I am a scientist with access to a spectral analyzer and I set this light up and then measured the LUX that are actually being delivered to my eyes. According to psych education dot org, you need to put the device above eye level to get maximum benefit and you need to be 6 inches from it. When set up this way, I am receiving a little over 300 LUX at eye level on the LOW setting. At MID setting, about 500 LUX and at HI setting (which is intolerably bright in my opinion), I'm at 775 LUX.

If I hold the analyzer right up to the light, I get over 12,000 LUX emitted at the HI setting. Therefore, this light really does emit very high intensity, full spectrum light, as advertised.

Whether the light that gets to my eye is enough to help is up for debate Smile I will update in a few weeks.

So you'll note from the two reviews that the product seems cheaply made and this has actual real life consequences as in: some of the LEDs burn out quickly, and you are not really getting 10,000 Lux at 6'' from the light box, as advertised (using a spectral analyzer). You can indeed get 10,000 Lux and even 12,000 but your eye would have to be literally almost touching the box and of course that is not practically possible.

In addition, "cheaply made" probably means the diffuser is not very good so it's not distributing the light in an ideally smooth and even way (some directions will feel too bright and others too dim).

Like any other object, a light box requires some engineering so that it works as designed and delivers good reliable performance. The cheapest products are typically not the best engineered ones, although there can be exceptions, of course.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
04-13-2015 05:31 PM
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Post: #120
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
So far, Ive used it(Sunlight Jr, in the OP) for one day. I woke up at 7 40 and had it beside my bed until 8. I feel partially more energized although Im not completely sure if its a placebo yet. Its a significantly brighter light than I usually experience early morning, it almost felt overwhelming despite the fact that midday sunlight is much brighter.

Also, since I havent found a way so far to organise it so I use it while doing my morning work(due to power plug and space issues), using it beside the bed does mean that I dont do anything while the time passes. 20 minutes felt like forever. I probably would find a better way, or push through the boredom anyway.
(This post was last modified: 04-21-2015 03:09 PM by Magnesium Chloride.)
04-21-2015 03:09 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #121
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
MgCl2, glad to hear you got the Sunlight Jr. and are giving it a try.

Something to keep in mind is that while you may well feel something on the very first day (the effects tend to kick in fast), the real key to achieving deep and lasting effects in consistency over time.

What you want to do (and please refer to the OP for detailed instructions) is to use the light box every morning, at as nearly the same time as possible (relatively soon after you wake up), and with the correct settings (30 minutes at 10,000 Lux at 14'' distance for the Sunlight Jr.). Doing this consistently over time is what will result in the kind of entrainment that allows for deep and restorative sleep night in night out, and excellent baseline levels of energy and mood every day. That is the regimen you should aim for.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
04-21-2015 05:31 PM
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Post: #122
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Read a book, web browse, or play some sort game while keeping the light around eye level.
04-21-2015 08:51 PM
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fucksong Offline
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Post: #123
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Still reading through entire thread but can anybody comment on this ios Blue Light Therapy app?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blue-lig...46731?mt=8

I don't have $100-$200 right now to buy a fancy light but due to my vampire sleeping schedule (5/6AM to 2PM/3PM), I'd like to maximize my sleeping schedule.

Thanks in advance

EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that the way to go is for the full Bright Light Therapy. Too bad they haven't created an app for this yet. Until then, I'll experiment with the ios app and using flux on laptop. thanks lizard!
(This post was last modified: 05-18-2015 06:42 AM by fucksong.)
05-18-2015 06:12 AM
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Post: #124
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(05-18-2015 06:12 AM)fucksong Wrote:  Still reading through entire thread but can anybody comment on this ios Blue Light Therapy app?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blue-lig...46731?mt=8

I don't have $100-$200 right now to buy a fancy light but due to my vampire sleeping schedule (5/6AM to 2PM/3PM), I'd like to maximize my sleeping schedule.

Thanks in advance

EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that the way to go is for the full Bright Light Therapy. Too bad they haven't created an app for this yet. Until then, I'll experiment with the ios app and using flux on laptop. thanks lizard!

The problem with using an app is even more basic than the fact that it only uses blue light wavelengths. You need an intensity of 10,000 Lux for 30 minutes or so to get the benefits of bright light therapy, and an iPhone, or any smartphone, is simply not capable of generating this kind of intensity, or anything close to it. So I don't believe there will ever be an app that can substitute for a light box; even if they used full spectrum light, the intensity is just not there.

Definitely use f.lux on all your devices, and get a light box when you can. In the meantime, try to improve your sleep by following some simple sleep hygiene rules -- make sure you sleep in a cool room; don't eat anything for about 4 hours before you go to bed; and only consume caffeine early in the day, in moderate amounts, and never on an empty stomach.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
05-18-2015 07:36 AM
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Post: #125
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Hey Lizard, as I type this, I am basking in the glow of my new light therapy lamp. I was able to find a cheaper one at Bed Bath and Beyond for $40 but it's at 2500 lux, not the 10,000 lux you recommended:

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/pr...amp/131367

But just that alone is super bright to me. What's interesting is that when I turn it off and turned on my regular lamp, it was like a candlelight compared to the Light Therapy Lamp. Due to having a sporadic work schedule to accommodate my songwriting schedule, this really does help me start off my day, thanks man!
05-19-2015 08:11 AM
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