SAD and Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Winter Blues

24% of the UK suffer from SAD or Winter BluesSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that an estimated 7% of the UK population suffer from. A further 17% suffer from its milder form, Winter Blues. It is a form of depression brought about by the reduced intensity and length of sunlight in the Winter months, particularly during December, January and February.

What causes SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, and its milder form, Winter Blues, are caused by the reduced amount of sunlight during the winter. Your body relies on sunlight to give it cues for when it should be alert, and when it should be rested. The lack of sunlight can trick your body into thinking it should constantly be in a state of rest or sleep, causing reduced alertness, energy and happiness.

During winter months, many people are exposed to less than an hour's direct sunlight. When leaving for work it is dark, and it is then dark when leaving too. Most indoor environments are not sufficiently bright for the body to acknowledge it as being daytime – the body needs brightness of 2,500 lux, while even a well-lit office will only provide 500 lux. As a result your body never truly “wakes up”.

Hold sunshine in your hands

How is it treated?

Light therapy is successful in treating 85% of people with SAD. It works by exposing patients to light in excess of 2,500 lux, making their bodies accept that it is daytime and now needs to be alert and active.

The body begins to produce serotonin, a chemical linked with a feeling of well-being. Its production is triggered by the body receiving sunlight. Similarly, sunlight also tells the body to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that prepares the body for sleep. Without this sunlight trigger, the body does not produce serotonin, and instead continues to produce melatonin - making you feel tired and depressed. Light therapy replicates sunlight - giving your body the trigger it needs to function correctly.

Clinical research

If you would like to read some research into Seasonal Affective Disorder and bright light therapy, to better understand the condition and how the treatment works, then you may be interested in some of the following research articles.

What is special about the Litebook EDGE?

Traditionally, light therapy meant being sat in front of a large lightbox (about the size of a regular mirror) and looking directly into it for an hour. While effective, it was awkward, boring and time consuming. Thankfully, the Litebook EDGE is revolutionising light therapy and making it quick and incredibly easy.

The Litebook EDGE uses white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to produce its light. Regular lamps have used fluorescent bulbs, which are bulky, expensive to run, and emit harmful UV rays. The white LEDs in the Litebook mean it is much smaller than conventional lamps (just 1% of the size), and because the peak wavelengths of its light replicate those of sunlight exactly, usage time is as little as 15 minutes.

Fits into your hand, and your life

The Litebook EDGE's size and built-in rechargebale battery means it can be used anywhere; on a train, aeroplane, or simply on a desk or table at home or work. Unlike regular lamps, you do not have to look directly into it, you simply have it facing you at an angle. This leaves you free to get on with other things such as eating breakfast, applying make-up or reading a newspaper. It has never been so easy to get the light you need into your routine.

As with any electrical appliance, the running costs of a light therapy unit are an important factor. The fluorescent bulbs in traditional light boxes need to be replaced every 500 hours. As they need to be used for an hour, that means new bulbs every 18 months - and some use as many as 6, at £15 each. As you can see, it does not take long for the running costs to run into the hundreds. With the Litebook, the LED's last for 100,000 hours - that's 11 years of continuous use - or a few hundreds years of proper use. So the only running costs are electricity - costing roughly £5 per decade. Over the course of its lifetime, the Litebook EDGE will save you hundreds of pounds compared to a regular light therapy unit.

60-day money back guarantee

We are so confident in the effectiveness of the Litebook EDGE that if you do not feel the benefit of it within 60 days you can return it for a refund. We are also proud of its build quality, which is why we offer a two-year warranty - which is double that of most other manufacturers. Add in the outstanding aftercare provided by Intus Healthcare and you know you can buy with complete confidence.

Available with Zero-Rated VAT

Because SAD is recognized as a medical condition by HMRC, you can buy the Litebook EDGE without having to pay VAT. If you are buying the Litebook for personal use and suffer from chronic SAD then you are eligible to purchase it without paying tax. You do not need a prescription or diagnosis, you simply have to tick a declaration during the checkout process that confirms that this is the case.

Order before 3pm for next day delivery!

Litebook EDGE Portable SAD Light

If you order your Litebook EDGE before 3pm you will usually receive it on the the next working day! This means you banish your SAD as soon as possible and get back to feeling your regular self again in no time.

Need some more information?

You can find a wealth of information about light therapy and the Litebook EDGEon this site. Our support section includes and FAQ, and we also have an extensive research section. If there is anything you need to know or are unsure about, you can give us a ring on 0844 504 9999, or use the Contact Us page to send us an email, and we'll endeavour to answer any questions you may have.