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Health Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
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void Offline
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Post: #151
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I am currently thinking about buying a blue box. Why?
- The photo-receptors responsible for the circadian rhythm react to blue LED light (460-470 nm wave length) the most
- other wave lengths seem to have a suppressing effect on the whole
- 200 LUX blue has the same effect as 10000 lux full spectrum white, because the other wavelengths do not have a effect (at least they advertise like that)
- personal anecdote: when I was going to the tanning salon (a long time ago), the bulbs radiated blue and UV light. I usually came out of the bed in a very positive mood (I doubt this was the effect of Vitamin D production)

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(This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 09:54 PM by void.)
01-07-2016 09:53 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #152
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
void, like I said in reply to your question at the very beginning of the thread, all the best research in this field has been done with full spectrum boxes, and they are the ones that have proven efficacy. The claims being made for blue light boxes simply don't have the same level of evidence to back them up. In addition, there are pretty good reasons to think that a box that emits the spectrum human beings have evolved with (ie, that of the sun) is most likely to be optimal.

As far as the mood effect of tanning beds goes, that effect is certainly due to the UV component. Exposure to UV light has all sorts of hormonal effects, including testosterone production in men. Tanning tends to leave people in a great mood, men in particular.

EDIT: here is a comment from Dr. Raymond Lam, the author of the crucial randomized trial that I posted about earlier in the thread:

Quote:Dr. Raymond Lam Nov 27, 2015

@Catherine Treece Yes, for light therapy the standard is 10,000 lux, which is 20X bright office lighting, and 1000X most social indoor lighting. Lower intensity blue light may also be effective, but is less well studied, and in the case of SAD, the one comparison between low-intensity blue and higher-intensity white found that white was better.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
(This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 10:19 PM by The Lizard of Oz.)
01-07-2016 10:12 PM
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void Offline
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Post: #153
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Thank you for your response regarding the UV component in tanning beds. I did not know about the other effects.

On the receptors responsible for the circadian rhythm (ganglions with melanopsin):
http://pro.psychcentral.com/blue-light-t...02910.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoreceptor_cell
Melanopsin peak sensitivity (peak absorption ~479 nm):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanopsin

The studies I found, that support equal effects of blue light.
http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165...5/abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042929/

You could argue, that the indirect lightning of the blue sky or the blue sky in general on a sunny day was the evolutionary selector for the circadian rhythm. When do I look into the sun when I am outside? How many white objects do I see when I step outside my cave? How often do I see the blue sky while doing my stuff outside?

Yes, you are right that most research is done with the standard white light box and they are the only ones thoroughly proven. However the white light most likely works because it has a high power blue light component, not because it is "white".

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(This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 11:01 PM by void.)
01-07-2016 10:45 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #154
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
void, the receptor link you posted concludes with this:

Quote:It’s clear that the jury is still out on blue light’s efficacy and long-term safety, but hopefully you are now better informed about the background issues involved.

The studies you cited are quite small and don't have the statistical power to resolve between blue light and full spectrum therapies. By contrast, there are dozens of high quality studies for full spectrum therapy.

Lastly, I'll note that the randomized multi-center study I posted about earlier demonstrated significant effect above placebo for full spectrum therapy in the context of non-SAD depression. I'm not sure there is any evidence at all for blue light therapy in that context.

I'm curious why you are particularly attracted to the blue light boxes. Are they cheaper where you are?

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
(This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 11:12 PM by The Lizard of Oz.)
01-07-2016 10:59 PM
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void Offline
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Post: #155
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I don't know, personal preference + scientific curiosity. The high quality LED lamps all cost ~150 €, no matter blue or white.
My other links at least support the photo sensitivity of the receptors for the circadian rhythm to be at ~479 nm, which is blue light.
The safety argument is bogus. Some white light devices are qualified as medical products and therefore should be safe to use (the standards for qualification are very high). White light is mixed from "red", "green" and "blue" photons / wavelength / energy. In the case of the standard 10k LUX white light therapy, you also have a high intensity (W/m²) of blue light.

And yes, the sample sizes are too small for the blue light studies to have definitive answers, but they were equally positive. But I am thinking about the physical mechanism behind the treatment, and the theory for blue light sensitivity of melanopsin covered ganglions is an explanation fitting both blue and white light therapy.

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(This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 11:51 PM by void.)
01-07-2016 11:28 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #156
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
void, my take on that would be that because it's your eyes, err on side of safety and go with the one where large numbers of people have gone through trials.

Also I would note that people seem to find the white spectrum boxes more pleasant (since you speak of personal preference). In fact, that was the one significant difference noted in the small comparative study you cited:

Quote:In the SLT group 63% (7 out of 11) of the subjects rated the treatment as "rather pleasant" or "very pleasant". In the BLT group, treatment appreciation was slightly lower: 81% (9 out of 11) of the subjects in the BLT group indicated the treatment to be "neither pleasant, nor unpleasant", "rather pleasant" or "pleasant".

This small difference in appreciation in the present study is significant but must be interpreted within the context of the relatively modest sample size.

**********

In any case, whichever you end up trying, please tell us the results either way.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
01-07-2016 11:44 PM
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void Offline
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Post: #157
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I will try to test the devices for color preference in a retail market and give a review after buying.

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(This post was last modified: 01-08-2016 12:12 AM by void.)
01-08-2016 12:12 AM
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Zona Offline
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Post: #158
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Just stumbled upon an interesting study on bright light therapy and its effect on cortisol levels. I skimmed over the thread and didn't see it, but my apologies if someone already posted this:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20484692

Quote:Abstract

Multisynaptic neural and endocrine pathways from the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus have been hypothesized to communicate circadian and photic information to the adrenal glands. In humans, light exposure has been reported to have no effect, increase, or decrease cortisol levels. These inconsistent findings in humans may be related to differences among studies including the intensity (approximately 500 to 5500 lux), duration (15 min to 4 h), and circadian phase of light exposure. The authors assessed the influence of exposure to bright light on cortisol levels in humans during the rising and descending phases of the circadian rhythm of cortisol, that is, when cortisol levels are high. Twenty healthy men and women were studied using a within-subject research design. Subjects were studied in an environment free of time cues for 9 to 10 days. Subjects received a 6.7-h exposure of bright light (approximately 10,000 lux; equivalent to ambient light intensity just after sunrise or just before sunset) or dim light (approximately 3 lux; equivalent to candle light) during the biological night and morning. Bright light exposure significantly reduced plasma cortisol levels at both circadian phases studied, whereas dim light exposure had little effect on cortisol levels. The finding of an acute suppressive effect of bright light exposure on cortisol levels supports the existence of a mechanism by which photic information can acutely influence the human adrenal glands.

For those who are unaware, cortisol is a stress hormone that tends to be catabolic in nature (not good for building muscle and testosterone production), and it inhibits protein synthesis, reduces your immune system function, can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight, and a slew of other undesirable side effects.

Now cortisol does serve a valuable purpose in reducing inflammation and helping your body cope with stress, so it's not all bad, particularly when the increases are transient due to extreme stress. However, many of us tend to live in a state of chronic stress, and thus probably have chronically high cortisol levels. This is a bad thing.

According to the study, it appears as though bright light therapy used in the correct circadian phases can result in a measurable decrease in cortisol levels. This supports everything that you guys have been saying about it lowering stress.

I ended up getting one for xmas, although I haven't been using it consistently enough. Not surprisingly, I haven't noticed any major changes in my mood or overall quality of life. However, I am going to buckle down and really commit to using it consistently at the same time every morning for 30 minutes (I have found that going over that amount of time gives me a mild headache). I'll let you guys know how it's going once I've used it for awhile, but kudos to Lizard of Oz and everyone else for the great info in here.
01-09-2016 12:45 PM
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Dr. Kahn Offline
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Post: #159
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I cannot go to sleep earlier than 2am to 3am. I tends to wake up at 7am to 8am; it is very rare that i am soo tired that i wake up at 10am. (sleeping habit acquired in graduate school)

I have started reading this thread to see if i can apply this kind of therapy to my sleep patterns.

I will report back on how it goes.
01-10-2016 01:34 PM
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evilhei Offline
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Post: #160
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(12-09-2015 10:53 AM)evilhei Wrote:  Yesterday it didn't even go light at all here in Norway and I really felt it and today I came across this thread. I went right to the shop and bought Breuer TL30 light box. Also promising 10000lux's. Will try out this tomorrow morning and report back with results after awhile.

ok so it has now been 1.5 months since I got the box. I have been using it every morning except the weekends. I use it around 15-30 minutes and browse the web on the phone or read a book while keeping the light 20-30cm from my eyes and not looking directly into it but kind of just having it as a background.

I can say that it has definetaly helped me with the sleep. Before the light I had issues with getting good quality sleep about 6 nights out of 10, I was sleeping restless and didn't fall asleep quickly etc.

Now I would say I sleep badly about 1 night out of 10 if even not less. I fell asleep very quickly and sleep deeply. I still wake up early without the clock around 7 which I also did before the light box. But now when waking up i'm rested and have energy for whole day.

So definetaly recommend people trying this, specially when living in dark side of the world like I do.
01-21-2016 04:42 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #161
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
evilhei, thanks for the update and I'm very happy to hear that the light box has helped to greatly improve your sleep quality and day-to-day energy.

You will see even greater benefits -- not even 1 bad night out of 10 -- if you use the box more consistently, that is, not skipping weekends and always for the same amount of time at the same distance (30 minutes at a distance that allows you to get 10,000 Lux). This kind of consistency is what really optimizes and weaponizes the light box by entraining your cues day in day out.

Try it and tell us if your sleep, energy and mood improve even further and even more consistently above the great improvement you've already observed.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
01-22-2016 09:03 AM
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Horus Online
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Post: #162
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I've been using this for over a month now. I have been a chronic insomniac for as long as I remember. For a long time I have relied on alcohol to fall asleep - as a result I've never successfully taken significant breaks from drinking as the detrimental effects of sleeplessness outweighed the detrimental effects of alcohol. Since beginning light therapy I have successfully stayed away from the booze and I'm usually sound asleep within minutes.

As a result of being jaded by exposure to so many quick-fix products and claims on TV and the internet, I just assumed this one was also too good to be true. The idea that sitting in front of a light while reading the news could solve one of the biggest problems in my life seemed unbelievable and I would never have tried it if not for Lizard of Oz's endorsement.

It's such an easy addition to one's daily routine and the results are, as they say in TV infomercials, truly amazing. Except in my case it's the absolute truth.
01-22-2016 02:10 PM
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evilhei Offline
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Post: #163
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
It really sounds like some daytime TV ad channel here the last few posts, including my own but its really true.
01-22-2016 03:27 PM
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Mr. Pink Offline
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Post: #164
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Anyone know how I might go about buying one of these bad boys in the Phils?
01-24-2016 04:00 AM
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Horus Online
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RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(01-24-2016 04:00 AM)Mr. Pink Wrote:  Anyone know how I might go about buying one of these bad boys in the Phils?

I bought a lightbox from this company (recommended by Lizard of Oz) and they shipped to my current location, so I'm sure they will ship to Philippines. However, you need to order from the "International Products" page - the prices are more expensive than those for US customers ($230 + shipping for the Sunlight Jr, as opposed to $185), but it's still an extremely worthwhile investment. You simply can't put a price on consistently high quality sleep.
01-24-2016 10:59 AM
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Post: #166
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(01-24-2016 10:59 AM)Horus Wrote:  
(01-24-2016 04:00 AM)Mr. Pink Wrote:  Anyone know how I might go about buying one of these bad boys in the Phils?

I bought a lightbox from this company (recommended by Lizard of Oz) and they shipped to my current location, so I'm sure they will ship to Philippines. However, you need to order from the "International Products" page - the prices are more expensive than those for US customers ($230 + shipping for the Sunlight Jr, as opposed to $185), but it's still an extremely worthwhile investment. You simply can't put a price on consistently high quality sleep.

Thanks man, yeah after reading through this thread I can't help but to get my hopes up, sleep has been a problem for me as long as I can remember.
01-25-2016 07:06 AM
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John Michael Kane Offline
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Post: #167
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
@The Lizard of Oz:

I'm comparing the Sunlight Jr to the models that are on Amazon. Out of curiosity, I take it you have the Sunlight Jr. model? If so, does it use LED or some other type of bulbs? From what I gathered, they appear to be fluorescent? I was wondering what you research has found via the effectiveness of LED versus fluorescent versus incandescent bulbs regarding bright light therapy? There seems to be a lot of LED models on Amazon and other sites, but I haven't seen a direct comparison of the effectiveness of different bulb types. Your input would be appreciated.
01-27-2016 05:58 PM
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RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(01-27-2016 05:58 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote:  @The Lizard of Oz:

I'm comparing the Sunlight Jr to the models that are on Amazon. Out of curiosity, I take it you have the Sunlight Jr. model? If so, does it use LED or some other type of bulbs? From what I gathered, they appear to be fluorescent? I was wondering what you research has found via the effectiveness of LED versus fluorescent versus incandescent bulbs regarding bright light therapy? There seems to be a lot of LED models on Amazon and other sites, but I haven't seen a direct comparison of the effectiveness of different bulb types. Your input would be appreciated.

Sure. The Sunlight Jr. uses LED bulbs, specifically a 55W daylight bulb. You can find the bulb itself here on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Bulb-Sunlight-Sunb...B0010YS05W

LED bulbs have a number of advantages over fluorescent bulbs:

-- They last much longer, you can use the light box daily for years before needing to replace the bulb
-- They do not contain mercury so there is less risk in case you drop and break the bulb
-- They don't get as hot which matters when you are sitting next to the light box
-- They more faithfully reproduce a full light spectrum (close to the spectrum of natural sunlight)

Sunbox (which makes the Sunlight Jr.) is the oldest and most established company in the business, and their products have been used in many research studies and tested over a long period of time; that is why I recommend them.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
01-27-2016 06:22 PM
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Post: #169
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Lizard,

Thank you. I was wondering why they were recommending switching out the bulbs every few years, given that LED's in my understanding are built to last over 10 years before they start to dim or give out. That's why I was thinking that the Sunlight Jr. uses florescent. How frequently do you replace your's?
01-27-2016 07:56 PM
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RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(01-27-2016 07:56 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote:  Lizard,

Thank you. I was wondering why they were recommending switching out the bulbs every few years, given that LED's in my understanding are built to last over 10 years before they start to dim or give out. That's why I was thinking that the Sunlight Jr. uses florescent. How frequently do you replace your's?

Actually, you're completely right. The bulbs in the Sunlight Jr. are fluorescent; embarrassing error on my part. For some reason I always assumed they were LEDs, I don't know why! I never really looked into the kind of bulb they use.

I've had my Sunlight Jr. for about a year and so far there has been no need to replace the bulb. But they do recommend replacing them every few years or so. I know that a friend of mine had the SunRay 2 -- the larger Sunbox model -- for many years, more like a decade, before he needed to replace the bulb; but it had probably dimmed somewhat by the time he replaced it, which is suboptimal.

As far as my other points in the earlier post, now that I've read about it in more depth: although they use fluorescents, they use a low-mercury version, and the lamps don't heat up all that much. So they don't really have those disadvantages compared to the LEDs in this case. They also use a fluorescent that produces an excellent full spectrum.

The bottom line is that I trust the Sunbox products because they've been around for so long and have withstood the test of time (and of many clinical trials).

Apologies for the wrong information in the previous post; I should have done more research before posting what I assumed to be the case. And thanks for making me look into it.

EDIT: for more information, you can look at this Buyer's Guide and links to the specific bulbs they use for the different boxes:

http://www.sunbox.com/buyers-guide/

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
(This post was last modified: 01-27-2016 08:21 PM by The Lizard of Oz.)
01-27-2016 08:18 PM
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Post: #171
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I emailed Sunlight and asked them if they plan on making an LED model, and if no, why not? Perhaps you can add a tidbit about LED vs fluorescent in your main post as we learn more about the pros and cons of each. Thanks!
01-27-2016 08:31 PM
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Post: #172
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(01-27-2016 08:31 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote:  I emailed Sunlight and asked them if they plan on making an LED model, and if no, why not? Perhaps you can add a tidbit about LED vs fluorescent in your main post as we learn more about the pros and cons of each. Thanks!

If they reply, please feel free to post the response here. I'd be interested.

In the meantime, I would still recommend the current Sunbox products (the Sunlight Jr. in particular) given their long track record and proven effectiveness in clinical trials (and experienced first hand by many posters in this thread).

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
01-27-2016 08:55 PM
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RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
They said they are currently in the research phase of testing LED's. No word yet as to when a product will be released to market, but I did email them back regarding a time frame but they haven't responded to that second message yet.
01-27-2016 09:06 PM
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Post: #174
RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
(01-27-2016 09:06 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote:  They said they are currently in the research phase of testing LED's. No word yet as to when a product will be released to market, but I did email them back regarding a time frame but they haven't responded to that second message yet.

Alright, good to know.

An LED device would likely cost more upfront (LED bulbs are more expensive than fluorescents) but it would make up for the cost over time -- if used regularly -- since the bulbs would last longer and require less power. The LED device will also be even more lightweight and compact (even though the Sunlight Jr. is quite lightweight as it is).

Personally, I would still go for the product that's been tested most extensively in trials, and not rush to adopt the new LED product until there is more experience with it. I like to be conservative about these things. But the LED product is likely to be very effective as well.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
01-27-2016 09:17 PM
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RE: Bright Light Therapy for Regularizing Sleep and Reducing Depression and Anxiety
I live in the UK and have traditionally struggled during the dark winters. I become apathetic, have trouble waking up in the morning, am sleepy all day and then cannot sleep at night. I wasn't sure what was to blame for my constant fatigue and for a while thought I might have sleep apnea, but my doctor assured me that at my age, bmi etc it was impossible.
I decided to buy a light box, and have been blown away at how well they work. I've been using it for the last 10 days, and although I haven't been going to bed at the same time every night it has really improved my energy levels and regularised my sleep cycle. I've also been much happier, and am more enthusiastic about going out and making the most of the day every morning- as opposed to just wanting to go back to bed.
If anyone is undecided, they should look at the hundreds of testimonials on amazon that back up this thread.
01-28-2016 08:44 AM
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