Is the end of summer getting you down? Get happy with a SAD lamp!

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 Most people start feeling a bit down as the days get shorter and nights get longer. Summer always seems to feel too short, particularly in this country. But there’s a lot more to lose than just your social life and your tan when the sun disappears! Our bodies need vitamin D to function efficiently but the UK is rarely ever sunny enough for us to get a healthy amount during the winter months. This can cause a wide variety of health problems, from depression to broken bones! Read on to find out how to make sure you don’t miss sunlight too much this winter…
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British weather means that the sun is only strong enough for us to get enough vitamin D between March and September. As autumn creeps in, you may find that you start to experience symptoms like:
• Fatigue
• Depression
• Bone, muscle and joint pain
• Muscle weakness
• Weight gain
• High blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Headaches
• Bladder or bowel problems
Vitamin D is hugely important for your health and general maintenance of your body. Without it your bones become weak and fracture more easily. There is a particular risk to people over the age of 50 and those with darker skin, as both of these groups are less able to absorb and process sunlight and the benefits it gives. Long term vitamin D deficiency has been directly linked to conditions such as:
• Osteoporosis and brittle bones
• Rickets
• Depression
• Multiple Sclerosis
• High blood pressure and heart conditions
• Impaired immune system, leading to illness and infections
• Insulin resistance, leading to diabetes
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Bright light therapy each day keeps the doctor away!

The suggested amount of sunlight each day is around 15-30 minutes of strong, bright light. If you have paler skin, 30 minutes in the summer sun is enough for your body to create the equivalent of 500 micrograms of vitamin D in your body. This is much more than you need – doctors recommend around 10 micrograms a day. However, that’s the beauty of getting your vitamin D from light instead of supplements; your body will produce all it needs and then it stops. This means there’s no risk of taking too much, which can cause kidney and heart problems. Using bright light therapy means you can get all the benefits of sun light even on the most miserable winters day. It’s also a safe way to create vitamin D without risking skin damage, unlike using traditional sun lamps. This is because a light box produces a special type of light that is super powerful but free from damaging UV rays. So we are sorry to disappoint but you won’t get a tan, however you will improve your health!
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Light up your life with a SAD lamp to feel happy all year round!

Bright light therapy is also an excellent treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Around 20% of us feel symptoms of the ‘winter blues’ each year. These include anxiety, fatigue, depression and mood swings. SAD can turn into serious clinical depression that makes you unable to enjoy your life, much more serious than your typical winter blues. This happens because lack of sunlight changes the hormone levels in your brain. It increases the ‘sleepy hormone’ melatonin, making you feel fatigued. Meanwhile the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin decreases, causing changes in your mood. You can combat Seasonal Affective Disorder by using a SAD lamp for just a few minutes a day. These SAD lights can generate around 10,000 lux - the same amount of light that the sun gives off on a clear day. Standard lights in an office or home only give off 320-500 lux. Using a SAD lamp is recommended by therapists as the best way to treat SAD, curing 85% of cases within a couple of weeks and is a 100% natural cure, no need for any medication. This goes to show what a powerful effect the sun has on our bodies!

Sleep better with a SAD lamp

Changes in the seasons will play havoc with your circadian rhythms. Your body has only just gotten used to the long days and now all of a sudden it’s dark when you’re getting up in a morning! This confuses your body clock and means that you have trouble sleeping for healthy periods of time. Your sleep cycles can also be thrown off by jet lag or even simple things like having a lie-in on the weekend.
Light therapy will reset your internal clock and help you get a great night’s sleep. By using a SAD light first thing in the morning, you can make sure that your body and mind fully wakes up and feels energised. This will also help you to get to sleep more easily in the evening. As well as normal SAD lamps, we offer specialised wake up lights that simulate dawn to gently wake you up at exactly the right time.
At StressNoMore we’ve got loads of ways to ease you into a happy and healthy winter season!
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