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Future Fit Traning

Understand how sun lamps help SAD?

A sun lamp can also be known as a SAD lamp, which is a light designed to mimic natural outdoor light which can help symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What is SAD?

SAD stands for seasonal affective disorder, which is considered a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. Often this type of depression tends to occur at a similar time each year which is during the winter, with the association of darker evenings and colder weather. It can be challenging to become accustomed to, with the prospect of leaving and returning from work in the dark and less possibility of getting outdoors for exercise or feeling down.

SAD is frequently linked to a reduced amount of sunlight, which can affect somebody’s internal body clock, body instincts for sleep, appetite and mood haywire. The lack of sunlight can also affect your production of melatonin (sleep hormone) and serotonin (hormone affecting your sleep, mood and appetite). Overall, all these impacts can lead to feelings of depression and tiredness.

What is a sun lamp?

A sun lamp can also be known as a SAD lamp, which is a light designed to mimic natural outdoor light. The light produced from these types of lamps is associated with having a positive impact on both melatonin and serotonin, which as previously mentioned, are hormones which control your sleep and wake cycle. The lamp uses natural light to reduce anxiety and improve mood, as low levels of serotonin have a link to depression. 

Who experiences SAD?

Often many people will notice a change in mood, motivation and productivity as autumn approaches, for some it may just be a slight drop in their mood due to the shorter days and darker evenings. However, it may get to the point where somebody is impacted in their day-to-day mental and physical health, which may be when they are suffering from SAD. Although this can happen at any time of the year, it is most common to see this more as summer leaves and autumn comes in. 

Just like everything, there is no one person who is likely to experience this in comparison to the rest. It is a type of depression which can be triggered for anybody, and it’s important that people know there are things out there which help support them during this time. Likewise, as we start to head towards the clocks going back, it’s important we look after each other’s mental health by checking in with somebody to find out how they are and asking them if they need any support. 


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What are the symptoms of SAD?

Sometimes people may be experiencing SAD without realising this is the reasoning, that’s why below we have researched with mind some of the top symptoms of SAD to bring the relevant information to light.

  1. Lack of energy
  2. Not wanting to see people 
  3. Sleeping problems
  4. Changes in appetite
  5. Feeling sad, tearful, guilty or hopeless
  6. Being prone to physical health problems
  7. Losing interest in sexual or physical contact 
  8. Suicidal feels
  9. Other symptoms of depression

How can sun lamps help SAD?

Since sun lamps are designed to mimic sunlight which helps ease SAD symptoms, they are generally beneficial in the darker and colder months, when there is less natural light and people spend less time outdoors. 

The decreased amount of sunlight comparing summer to winter will directly impact the serotonin levels, which influence circadian rhythm and a person’s mood. Sun lamps will help counteract this by simulating natural light, which can be a huge therapy method for a common part of SAD treatment.

Sun lamp therapy may also be a way for somebody to regulate their sleep-wake cycle, which can be influenced by the change in seasons. Using natural lighting to wake you up or go to sleep can greatly impact your hours of sleep. As the mornings get darker, you may struggle to wake up or feel fatigued waking up in the dark; using a sun lamp to wake yourself up can make a big difference in feeling ready for the day.

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Top 5 SAD lamps

When it comes to purchasing a SAD lamp, there are some key features you can look for to ensure you are investing in the right one. Using this information, we researched the top 5 SAD lamps and included the links.

  • Light intensity – a standard treatment for light therapy is 10,000 lux.
  • Positioning- you should be able to angle your SAD lamp downwards to help reduce glare.
  • Efficiency- Depending on the lamp, some may use replaceable bulbs, whilst others are LED lights which can last over 40,000 hours; when purchasing, you should consider additional costs from new bulbs.

1. Lumie Vitamin L – £82.50

The Lumie Vitamin L is one of the most energy-efficient SAD lamps; the biggest selling point is that the light is much softer than other SAD lamps. They recommend treatment of 20-30 minutes a day at 10,000 lux can help lift your mood. Included in the Lumie Vitamin L is a stand which means you can switch positions to help feel flooded with sunlight. 

2. Beurer TL30 – £49.99

The Beurer TL30 is known as a sun lamp with a compacted design, with the German engineering being one of the biggest names in SAD lamps. The compact design of the TL30 is as small as an A4 notebook, making it easy to carry around between work, holidays or home. The Beurer consists of LED technology which avoids any type of flicker and offers illumination at 10,000 lux brightness. 

3. Philips sleep & wake-up light – £158.32

The Philips SAD alarm clock can be a good one for anybody who struggles to regulate their sleep, with the functionality to help you relax when you are ready to sleep or to wake up feeling refreshed. It includes a light-guided breathing feature with multiple light settings; you also have the choice to wake to natural sounds or an FM radio to complete your wake-up experience. 

4. Lobertingu Sad lamp – £24.99

The Lobertingu SAD light comes with three brightening options, low, medium and strong, to give you a choice depending on your mood or environment. The Lobertingu also includes 10,000 lux in brightness, meeting the recommended to treat SAD. This SAD lamp also has 4 different countdown timers whilst being a compact and portable design. This is one of the most reasonably priced lamps for those not wanted to spend a lot at first. 

5. Lumie Brazil SAD lightbox – £165.83

The Lumie Brazil lightbox has a wide spectrum of bulbs which help improve tiredness, over-eating and lack of energy. Many people have found a huge difference in using this lamp for just 30-minutes a day. This lamp also includes a 10,000 lux brightness and comes in one of the largest sizes, making it good to keep at home.