Portable, adaptable, effective therapy. Clips onto computer or fits into car so can accompany you anywhere.Cons
Not possible to change the angle of adjustment. No on-off switch.Verdict
Recommended. Good endorsements and good value.
Reviewed: Syrcadian Blue SB-1000 ("SAD" Therapy Light)
And writing this as the clocks have just 'sprung forward' I am still grateful every day for the extra daylight.
So it really got me thinking, when I researched the Syrcadian Blue SB-1000 Sad Light Therapy Device.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a depressive condition that occurs at a certain times of the year (usually winter).
It has the same symptoms as other types of depression: less energy, lethargy, sleep issues, loss of interest in work and other activities and social withdrawal.
Now we know that many of our mood hormones are regulated by light and nowadays light therapy is prescribed by psychiatrists, psychologists and family doctors.
In fact light therapy is known to be at least as effective in treating seasonal depression as pharmaceutical approaches.
And science backs up the approach, with the discovery in 2002 of a new set of light sensitive receptors in the eye, which have been linked to the production of serotonin - and we know that one of the primary causes of depression is low serotonin levels in the brain (most anti-depressant drugs help boost serotonin levels, in fact).
And I found that researchers at multiple medical centers and clinics in both the U.S. and further a field have had success with light therapy in patients with clear histories of SAD.
OK, so this is a great idea - a natural alternative to medication, no side effects and it won't take 6-8 weeks to work as many anti-depressants do. And there are plenty of customer reviews of the various products available which is great, because potential purchasers can get real information from real SAD sufferers.
'I don't usually leave reviews, but this device is the best thing that's happened to me in years,' said one customer.
And this was typical. 'I have found light therapy to be very beneficial as I live in an area with limited natural light during part of the year,' said another. 'The Syrcadian Blue unit has proven to be not only affordable, but very convenient, mobile and effective.'
'I thought it was all hog wash until I tried it,' adds a sceptic.
The Syrcadian Blue is a portable product that clips on top of your computer monitor, with an optional attachment so you can use it in your car. It costs $59.95.
And customers endorse the claims that marked improvement in mood is usually observed within a week, and that symptoms usually return in about the same amount of time when the lights are withdrawn.
Which is why the car attachment is a great idea - especially if you travel a lot for work.
'The Syrcadian Blue Light Therapy Device was the answer to my prayers,' commented one lady.
'With the car adapter kit,' she continued. 'I could mount it on the visor of a car (which I did at one point when I had to leave for a road trip at 7 a.m.). Using it twice a day kept my mood stable throughout my travels. And on that early morning road trip it really saved me.'
Some people used the Syrcadian Blue light in conjunction with other devices, but most found that this device alone helped significantly with their mood.
'This blue light is bright! I love the fact it has two settings,' was another comment. 'I will buy a second one with adapter to travel with in my truck soon.'
And the blue light is a source of discussion - because there are aides available which use both blue and white light. Essentially, it seems that very bright white light works because it contains some of the necessary blue light. And scientists have discovered that blue light alone is both less intense and more effective.
There was only one comment I found on this product which was negative, saying, 'I am disappointed with the quality of the light. I assumed for the price that the light would be of better quality. Next time, I will spend a little more and go for better quality.'
But overall customers are very satisfied with this product. 'It's compact and sits nicely atop my Mac.'
A quick warning - some advisors say that if you have a condition that makes your eyes very sensitive to light, you may need to use caution with light boxes of all kinds.
But for most people light therapy is as good as the standard antidepressant approach. With fewer side effects and less overall risk.
Sitting here writing this review in the dark (because I am jet-lagged and can't sleep), I'm wishing I had one...
Let there be light!
Visit the official site for Syrcadian Blue SB 1000 light therapy box
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