Back in December, I obliquely asked for Canadian, blogging SAD-sufferers. I guess I was needlessly oblique, but the reason I asked is because I was looking for some reviewers for one of our newer clients: Litebook. That’s the Litebook Elite, featured with Hoth Han Solo for scale.
As you might expect, they make Litebooks. They’re small, rechargeable light therapy lamps that house 24 LEDs. These LEDs mimic the peak wavelengths of the sun, and are a legitimate treatment for seasonal effective disorder. According to Wikipedia, it’s effective in 85% of cases.
Sleep Like a Normal Person
I’d have been more skeptical about this particular form of alternative medicine if I hadn’t read the science, as well as Sarah Pullman’s unadulterated (and unsolicited) praise for the device:
I’ve been using mine for just over a week now, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that the improvement was dramatic and pretty immediate. My days of sleeping nine+ hours and then wanting to crawl into bed for a nap all day seem to be over. Since i started using my Litebook, I sleep like a normal person again (between 7 and 8.5 hours, ish) and I don’t feel tired all day. I feel… normal, I guess, again. I feel how I am accustomed to feeling, when I’m not in the midst of SAD season. My mood is also quite a bit better – and I’m not the only person to notice the improvement in me.
In fact, Sarah connected us with the folks at Litebook in the first place, after they contacted her. Here’s another endorsement of the device from a SAD sufferer in Ottawa.
Here Comes the Science
The basic premise, as I understand it, is this: for most of human evolution we’ve been a tropical people. We crawled out of the mud and evolved in warm, sunny climates with even days and nights. In recent times (relatively speaking), we’ve migrated north and south, and millions of us spend our winters in long periods of darkness, which screws up our body clocks.
To get a little more technical, the idea is that when light hits your eye, the retina transmits impulses to your body clock, located in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates sleeping, eating, body temperature and libido. Using light therapy early in the day helps to set and maintain your melatonin levels, and reduces the impact of SAD.
There are charts and diagrams and pictures of brains and such on the Litebook site that explain more. It’s also apparently effective for jet lag and shift workers who have to sleep during the day.
We’re helping Litebook with their online marketing. One of the things we’re doing is inviting some bloggers to try out Litebooks for a month to see what they think. I know we’re on the brightening side of winter, but I’ve got a couple of slots for reviewers in late February. If anybody else is interested, drop me a line.
UPDATE: Whew, that response was larger than I’d anticipated. Thanks to everybody who’s interested–I’ve emailed most of you. I only have so many trial units to share around, so I’d better put a hold on more requests for the time being.