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Light box for dreary days of winter

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by BeautifulDay, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Senior Member

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    It's 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius) outside as I type this. There is a point ever year where it's too cold to go out and we see little sun for the next two months. I got to that point a few minutes ago when I realized there is something down in my outlook. I wouldn't be classified as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but who needs to be even slightly more down when dealing with fatigue?

    So for the next two months, my little sun will join me again for 30 minutes of breakfast, coffee and reading (before the kids get up). I've also upped my D3.

    Here is a link on a light box similar to mine. For me, this is less about the science and more about what helps me survive winter. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2470681

    Does anyone have a little sun too?
     
    -Jessie- and pattismith like this.
  2. sb4

    sb4 Senior Member

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    Perhaps you will consider reptile / fullspectrum lights? These do the same thing but with the added benefit of UV + IR. Use your light for 30mins in morning then reptile light later.
     
    BeautifulDay likes this.
  3. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    @BeautifulDay, I have a Microsun lamp in the living room and also a full-spectrum bulb. I feel so much better with light, maybe because it helps with serotonin.

    My sister lives in Seattle, and she has several large light boxes in her house. It's not the same as the sun, but it does help.

    I lived near Seattle in the 80s and wish I had known about light boxes then. I had always lived in sun-drenched places, and all the gray got to me at first. I arrived in October, so what my sister calls The Big Dark had just started. But, of course, summers in the Pacific Northwest are glorious.
     
    BeautifulDay likes this.
  4. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    It is good to get as many different types of light as possible, especially in the winter.

    Sperti makes a Vit D lamp but I think a tanning bed works just as well and is a lot cheaper, if one is able.

    You can also get cheap red light bulbs from Amazon. Wendy Myers wrote a blog post here.
     
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  5. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I have actual proper seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but it actually became less severe once I developed ME/CFS.


    The following I first posted here:

    I have my own homemade light box, which I use in winter.

    To be effective at treating SAD, a light box has to be able to create a light level of around 10,000 lux, when the light level is measured at a distance of around 50 cm from the box (obviously the further you are away from the box, the more the light level will drop; but 50 cm is a typical distance for placing the box in front of you).

    I place my light box just to the side of the computer screen, so that the light starts working on me as I use my computer.

    I'd recommend buying a cheap lux meter, which you can find on eBay for around $10 to $20. It's handy to have a meter, because you can then double check that the light level at eye position is around 10,000 lux. As mentioned, if you move further away from the light box, lux levels will fall.
     
    BeautifulDay likes this.
  6. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Senior Member

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    Thank you everyone!!! It's all new to me. I'm going to try more things. Great suggestions.
     
    sb4 likes this.
  7. RebeccaRe

    RebeccaRe Senior Member

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    I got this little lamp a few years ago, and it makes an enormous difference! Having a light is really helpful after daylight savings time, and it also is great for long stretches of grey and rainy weather. This particular model is good for me because it's light and easy to move around, even when I don't have much strength in my arms (and durable for when I don't have much strength in my arms and drop it on the floor repeatedly while trying to set it up).

    I like that you call it a 'little sun.' What a cheery moniker! I think I'll start calling my lamp that, too!
     
    BeautifulDay and pibee like this.
  8. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    many years ago, before the CFS started getting very bad, i also started noticing that i felt very down during the fall/winter. I bought a pretty expensive light box but rarely used it because it was so bright, I felt it gave me mild headaches. I wonder if it may have been the CFS that made me more sensitive to the bright light.

    I still have the light and turn it on form time to time but never keep it on long enough to see if it helps. the SAD seems to be a little better now but it may be because everything takes a back seat to the CFS and I stopped giving attention to other problems.

    I had a psychiatrist once who told me his bipolar patients (2 docs say I have bipolar but I am still not sure) get depressed at the same time of the year.
     
    pattismith and BeautifulDay like this.
  9. Deep Soul Diver

    Deep Soul Diver deep soul diver

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    Tanning beds have helped me more consistently than anything else, with my sleep, energy and mood. I do very short tans a few times a week and cover my face. (If you disagree with this therapy, I respectfully ask that you not reply). There is more than one dermatologist that has studied the positive effects of tanning beds (one on cardiovascular disease rates in the UK; the other with fibromyalgia patients). I can't tolerate light boxes (get manic), but I can tolerate tanning beds.
     
    BeautifulDay and sb4 like this.
  10. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Senior Member

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    There is no judgment from me on tanning beds. In my younger years, I absolutely had a lessening of symptoms when using one for a week here and there before beach vacations. It was amazing. I wonder if they provide Vitamin D.

    While there is the risk of cancer with tanning beds, it really depends on the person as to whether the increased risk is worth it. For some it might be. When I'm at my worst and so many things are failing at once and there isn't a drop of energy, if a tanning bed were to stop the downturn, I'm not sure I wouldn't try it.

    I have my usual go to's to check when it seems like my system is taking a severe overall turn for the worse.
    This includes:
    - What is my B12 level?
    - What is my level of Vitamin D (should I take more D3)?
    - Am I faithfully taking my Mito Cocktail?
    - Am I staying away from hypoglycemia (eating small healthy bites every hour or two)?
    - Am I pacing myself throughout the day?
    - Am I patting myself on the back for doing the best I can under the circumstances?

    Using a tanning bed would not be on my list right now because i now tend to get little skin changes here and there. Yet, I can't judge anyone for something that helps them and appreciate your honesty at speaking up about what you find helps.
     
    sb4 likes this.
  11. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    ive known tons of people who have said that tanning beds helps them with their depression etc. I wonder if a safer alternative might be something like an SAD lamp coupled with a heating blanket or one of those biomats or something
     
  12. RebeccaRe

    RebeccaRe Senior Member

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    I'm glad that tanning beds are an effective solution for some people! When I was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder I was told to avoid too much sun exposure, as that could possibly exacerbate my symptoms for some reason or another. I wonder if tanning beds could have the same effect on people whose symptoms are affected by the sun, or if the quality of the light is different enough that it wouldn't trigger symptoms.
     
  13. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure tanning beds are bad for your skin and would trigger the same kinds of things the sun would trigger. SAD lamps are different and have no UVA or UBV light I think. that's why they wont really work on plants.
     

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