Dear Dr Miriam.
Dear Dr Miriam I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and I'm dreading winter. As the nights draw in, I get so depressed. Do you think a light box would help me beat the winter blues? Dr Miriam says: Yes, I think so. A light box using daylight spectrum bulbs is used to treat seasonal affective disorder and winter blues and can often be successful. Light boxes can be a bit expensive because you need a model with a lot of power. Look for one that offers 10,000 lux (intensity) of light when you sit 50cm away from it. With this amount of intensity, you may find you need it for around 30 minutes at a time making it quicker to use than less powerful lamps with lower intensity, where you need several hours to feel the effects. The light aims to replace sunshine and encourages your brain to reduce the production of melatonin, which makes you sleepy. This increases production of serotonin, which makes you feel good. Hope it helps your winter blues.