With work, BJJ, supplemental training, studying and commute time, I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like. After watching the Joe Rogan Experience with sleep expert Matthew Walker, I have been working hard to monitor and improve my sleep for overall health, recovery, focus and learning.
What happens if we don’t get enough good quality sleep? Professor Walker breaks it down for you in the video below.
One of the new products I’ve implemented into my daily routine is the HappyLight by verilux. I signed up to review the Lucent LED light tablet through dealspotr in a two week campaign. Verilux shipped the Lucent HappyLight to me right away upon approval of my application and it took about three days to arrive in Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Delivers 10,000 lux light intensity with no UV rays
- Portable and sleek design- I was easily able to transport it back and forth to work; it’s about the size of a tablet.
- Easy to set up and use – just plug it in and turn it on!
- Detachable stand – position horizontally or vertically
- Cost – $49.99 USD
Many people are sunshine deprived. Some of us stay indoors all day and don’t reap the benefits of that beautiful morning sunshine to kick start our day the right way- especially in the winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mental illness that can be caused by the disruption of the circadian clock when the seasons change, typically in fall and winter. Symptoms may include depression, lack of energy, the inability to concentrate and even thoughts of suicide.
People who don’t have SAD may still suffer from milder issues related to disruption in their circadian rhythms. Per verilux, “our brain’s chemistry and body-clock are affected by light, and light stimulates hormones and neurotransmitters that greatly influence our overall feelings of well-being. Bright light exposure early in the day stimulates our body’s production of serotonin (which improves mood and happiness) and regulates melatonin in the evening (which promotes sleep).”
In a 2007 study, it was found that thirty minute sessions of exposure to a light therapy device upon waking decreased symptoms related to SAD.
“At the end of this 4 week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the proportions of participants in remission (SIGH-SAD < 9) were significantly greater, and SIGH-SAD scores (as percent of individual score at randomization) were significantly lower with treatment with the Litebook LED light therapy device than with placebo treatment. A longitudinal repeated measures ANOVA analysis of SIGH-SAD scores also indicated a significant interaction of time and treatment. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Litebook device is an effective therapy for SAD. There was no significant correlation between therapeutic response and expectation scores, MEQ scores, or time of treatment expressed as clock time, or as time since the midpoint of sleep. Treatment was well-tolerated, with only transient minor adverse effects.”
HOW TO USE
The HappyLight comes with a detachable stand and must be plugged into an outlet. It should be placed in your line of vision, preferably at “ten” or “two” and between six and twenty four inches from you. Users have reportedly seen best results using the Lucent for fifteen to thirty minutes first thing in the morning.
The Verilux Lucent HappyLight is a very nice, sleek tablet-shaped light emitting device with a simple stand that clips to its side. It appears to be very sturdy and I am confident it will stand the test of time. The cord is longer than most charge cords, allowing users flexibility in placement, depending upon where their outlet is located.
It is summer in Nova Scotia and almost every day since I’ve received the verilux HappyLight has been a beautiful sunny day. I park my car about fifteen minutes from my office so I already get at least half an hour of sunlight every day on my walk back and forth.
I feel that if I was able to review the product over a longer time span in the winter, I would be better able to report its effects. What I can confirm at this time is that the Lucent is a high quality product from a reputable company and there are a number of independent, published studies that confirm the light therapy benefits claimed by verilux.
“Therapeutic response with the Litebook device appeared to be gradual, with separation of the active and control groups increasing between 1 and 4 weeks. Our results are similar to those of Eastman et al , who observed a significant difference in response rate at Week 3 and 4. Most studies of light therapy for SAD have been 1 or 2 weeks in duration, but gradual onset of response was observed in the 4 week trial by Bauer et al , and in the 8 week trial by Lam et al . It is possible that an 8 week trial would have shown a further increased therapeutic response. There is some evidence that trial length may affect speed of therapeutic effect in light therapy, with participants randomized to shorter treatment having a faster response than those randomized to longer treatment .”
I was excited to use the light tablet right away so I set it up on the first Sunday morning after its arrival. During my first session, I did find that my mood lifted considerably however, at the time I was drinking an extra large coffee and Mama June had lost a bet due to gaining twenty one pounds and was forced to change diapers. It’s hard to pinpoint the source of my elation.
I used the HappyLight primarily at work beginning at 9am. During the first couple of days, I experienced a bit of a headache during use so I gradually increased the time from fifteen to ninety minutes over the two week trial.
“The observations of Terman et al  would suggest that response to treatment ought to be strongest about 1.5 – 2 hours after sleep midpoint in a participant with typical 11 P.M to 7 A.M. sleep cycle. The present results do suggest that treatment between 6:10 and 7:40 A.M. in clock time, or between 3:20 and 4:30 hours after sleep midpoint, was effective in alleviating SAD.”
I created a chart indicating the time spent, my sleep time, my recovery score using Morpheus Recovery and other factors that could have affected my recovery score.
As you can see my recovery score varied in both periods and there are no significant changes other than the very low scores on July 7-8. I have no explanation for those dips, however they do happen occasionally and it could be due to a number of different factors such as my training, stress levels and diet.
You can see my sleep patterns and my Morpheus readings below. Click the images to enlarge.
I am very optimistic about the verilux HappyLight Lucent LED and though it wasn’t an ideal time for me to see significant changes, I am very glad to have the HappyLight for the coming fall and winter! I’ve read that light therapy can even alleviate the effects of jetlag so I will definitely be taking it on my next trip across time zones.
Get your HappyLight at verilux.com for $49.99USD. Use the code SALLYARSENAULT to save 20%!
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