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Old 10-28-2007, 10:39 PM
FaerieBeth FaerieBeth is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 1,976
Dawn Simulators & Light Therapy for SAD

We get the winter blues around here, and with the clocks not getting turned back until much later in the year, we've been extra grumpy about having to rise and shine in the pitch black darkness.
The school nurse mentioned light therapy or using a dawn simulator (she called it a SAD light).
Anyone ever used one? Do they work/help?
Old 10-28-2007, 11:02 PM
Helen's Eidolon Helen's Eidolon is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Montreal and/or PA
Posts: 4,561
I use a high-intensity lamp, which I sit in front of in the mornings for 20-30 minutes. I think it helps - I'm still sleepy during the day (which is my main symptom) but it's not as bad as it has been in the past, before I started using the lamp.
Old 10-29-2007, 11:22 AM
Hunter Hawk Hunter Hawk is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 3,615
IME, a dawn simulator definitely helps, and a light box is a moderate help.

My problem with the light box is that if I'm close enough to it to get the full clinical dose of light, I find it annoyingly bright. So I end up leaving it on but sitting farther away, so I probably get some benefit but not as much as I would if I were to use it correctly. Still, it falls into the "worth a shot" category.

I got my dawn simulator and light box (I'm currently using the light box that looks like a desk lamp) from The Sunbox Company. They're kind of expensive, but for me they were worth it.
Old 10-29-2007, 02:48 PM
Fetchund Fetchund is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: The Pines, Minnesota
Posts: 1,275
Yes, I use both, and both help tremendously. In fact, I'm late getting my high-intesity light out this year... I'll go do it now.

I cannot function if I try to wake up before sunrise too many days in a row - say 4 or 5. If I use my Sunrise clock, I'm OK, but I'm better with a combo approach.
Old 10-29-2007, 05:40 PM
BlueKangaroo BlueKangaroo is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,817
I love my dawn simulator. I got it via Amazon through a company called BioBrite. Yes, it's pricey (~$120), but utterly worth it. Having to wake up before dawn (or even after dawn but before it's truly sunny) is so difficult, and this clock has made a world of difference.

I haven't tried a light box, but I've never been truly diagnosed with SAD, so I've never looked into one.
Old 10-30-2007, 04:36 PM
Tapiotar Tapiotar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,401
Here's the therapy light Dr. Brown (who wrote When Your Body Gets the Blues) currently sells on her website.
Old 10-30-2007, 07:03 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,705
I haven't tried a dawn simulator precisely, but I made sure to get a room with an east facing window to get as much of the real thing as possible. It seems to help, and I find that when the sun is pouring in my window, I can't even sleep in if I want too. It's a fair trade off for being able to get up for classes...

I also have a high intensity light, using the same sort of 20-30 minute morning exposure that others reported. Haven't used it since last winter, but it also seemed to help. I tended to get more stuff done in a day, and was generally happily productive. I wish I had more than anecdote though... sadly, I don't have a proper control for myself.


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