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A mini sun for your desk!

Written by Fiona January 15 2013

Scottish winters – and summers, come to that! – can be dull and overcast. At the same time, a lack of Vitamin D (which is provided by sunlight) can have a negative impact on mood, causing a higher incidence of depression. Perhaps you’ve also heard of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a digressional tendency and low mood in wintertime.

get-attachment-66During the darker months, up to one in four Britons will suffer with SAD. It is caused by the brain not receiving enough daylight, which is needed to trigger serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood.

SAD symptoms range from mild lethargy and irritability to depression, anxiety and insomnia.

I have certainly suffered with SAD during many winters, when I become low, moody and kind of irritable. Getting outdoors for at least half an hour each day in daylight does help me. Having a dog to walk is a bonus because it motivates you to go for a walk.

I have also found that regular exercise helps to keep my mood lifted. This is true both in the winter and summer.

But sometimes we need a little extra help. With busy work and family lives it is not always possible to spend time outdoors every day, and exercise can feel like hard work when it’s cold and wet on a daily basis.

Speaking to others that suffer with SAD I heard about a special light that you can place on your desk, so as to simulate sunlight. Until recently, though, I’d imagined these lights to be vey expensive. But not so.

The MiniSun portable compact SAD light costs only £29.99 from Value Lights. It’s the size of a tennis ball so takes up very little room on your desk and it’s easy to pack if you’re going away. You only need to have the light on for about an hour a day to help relieve symptoms of SAD.

Studies show that light therapy can bring relief by providing a balanced spectrum of light equivalent to standing outdoors on a clear day. Using the desk light on days when it’s overcast or when I can’t get away from my desk has brought some, aherm, light relief. I can’t be sure but I do feel happier and smilier this winter, and perhaps more so than many, many previous winters. I would recommend this for a little does of sunshine each day.

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