Have you been feeling a bit depressed since December 1? Do you lack energy despite drinking countless cups of coffee and sleeping eight hours each night? No you're not sick — at least, not physically. You may suffer from what scientists refer to as Seasonal Affective Disorder, and a new portable SAD treatment by Re-Timer, an Australian eyewear manufacturer, could be exactly what you need to overcome the winter blues.
The Australian company has devised a pair of glasses that uses light therapy to fight SAD. The lightweight frames emit a subtle green light, which reportedly "treats the range of conditions caused by a mis-timed body clock." Re-Timer recommends wearing the glasses for 20 to 30 minutes a day in order to reap the full benefits of the bright light simulation.
Though some say SAD is a joke, it is no laughing matter. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression directly related to the change in, well, season. It is, in fact, a real disease that affects two to three percent of the population, with an additional 15 percent suffering from milder cases. When it comes to treating SAD, however, there is no one tried and true cure. Some doctors will recommend a new exercise regiment, while others prescribe anti-depressants. The most popular solution to SAD is exposing sufferers to sunlight, but given the lack of sunshine in the winter months, that seems almost impossible. Or at least, it was impossible.
As for Re-Timer's approach? The glasses look a little something like this, and are said to also help fight off jet lag and other disruptions to your sleep schedule.
Of course, Re-Timer's treatment comes at a hefty price. The frames run for $299, which is a bit of a splurge for the average 20-something. If you're trying to rid yourself of SAD on a budget, here are a few cheaper methods you can try.
1. Step Outside
Vitamin D is essential to fighting off the winter blues, and the best source is sunshine. Although the sun is limited in the winter, you can still catch a few rays by going for an afternoon walk.
2. Get Physical
To paraphrase the great Elle Woods, exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people are less likely to develop SAD.
3. Light Up Your Life
Though not as powerful as Re-Timer's green light, white light is also affective in lifting your spirit. Turn on a few lamps when you're home to boost your mood.
Stress only contributes to SAD. Take a few minutes to decompress at the end of each day.
5. Travel to Paradise
OK, this may not be cheaper than a pair of frames, but it's bound to be a lot more fun.