Tuesday, 19 February 2013

By bright light

Further to my post of yesterday, I can hear someone saying, “But what about bright light therapy?” Indeed, what about that? We do have a bright light lamp. It is one of the two devices we bought before Christmas as sort of presents to ourselves hoping they would help us endure winter we’ve found so hard to stand in recent years. The other one was the snow blower that’s now proven far more cumbersome than we expected, not actually a facilitator.

In contrast, mastering bright light therapy is easy as ABC. First, you introduce bright light into your daily schedule with sessions of at least 30 min; that is, you stay by the lamp for half an hour to get the effects going. Thereafter, an exposure of a mere 15 min daily should be enough to alleviate your symptoms of winter blues or even cure them altogether.

However, there is one shortcoming in this form of therapy: it is most effective when administered in the morning, preferably before 9 (or 10) am. A medium to wake me up and take me downstairs before 9 (or even 10) in the dark season – I tend to do some arranging upstairs, often for an hour or so, before descending to have my ‘breakfast’ – is yet to be discovered!

Luckily, I was farsighted enough to choose a dimmable bright light lamp that can serve also as an ordinary table lamp thus ensuring this purchase will not be completely wasted even if I were too lazy to utilize its potential. And there will be other winters soon enough, I’m afraid.

At least my daughters Maine Coon princess Sheena took the most of the lamp during her Christmas holiday with us. Sheena is such a nosy lady anything new and different fascinates her unlike her ‘brother’ who tries to keep cool whenever the ladies fuss about something. 

By the way, the news just confirmed what I’ve been feeling: we’ve had only 50 hours of sunshine in southern Finland since the beginning of December as opposed to 80 last year and 92 the year before that. This has, indeed, been the cloudiest winter in 25 years here.

(The photos of my daughter’s cats are taken by her.)


  1. I always wondered how you could deal with the lack of light in Northern Europe. I guess that it is a matter of habit, however 50 hours of sunlight is really NOTHING. Very interesting the previous post about the special lamp, I didn't know about the light therapy.

    1. It was tolerable as long as you spent the days at an office, which are always brightly lit, but now that this is no longer the case it's getting harder and harder each winter, at least for me and my man.