As if cold weather wasn't enough of a bummer, wintertime brings dark and gloomy skies, which can make it especially hard to soak up even the smallest amount of sunlight. It's no surprise that these few months out of the year can have a major impact on the way you feel, potentially causing seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—a type of depression that an estimated 5% of Americans struggle with—with even more people experiencing more mild "winter blues." One of the most common (and impactful) treatments for this disorder is surprisingly simple: powerful light therapy lamps that essentially mimic the experience of feeling the sun's rays on your skin.
Best of all, these lamps don't have to blow your budget. There are many light therapy lamps on the market you can choose from. And for a limited time, Amazon's best-seller in the category, Miroco Light Therapy Lamp ($25, was $60; amazon.com), is 58 percent off. So, if you've been thinking about buying one of these helpful devices, now is the time to add it to your cart.
A light therapy lamp isn't an ordinary light fixture, and you can't quite replicate its effects by swapping your lightbulbs for more powerful options. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, light therapy boxes should emit light at 10,000 lux (the same light level as a totally clear, sunny day), and they should be used first thing in the morning, for 30 to 40 minutes. Many shoppers work up to using the lamp for a longer period, starting with just 10-minute increments.
Although it stands just under 8-inches tall, reviewers say that Miroco's light box is "small, but fierce," impacting the way they feel after just one use. The lamp has three different brightness levels, so you can also adjust it if the brightest setting is too powerful for you.
With over 11,000 five-star ratings, the lamp has earned high praise, with many shoppers expressing their surprise that a device that's so budget-friendly could also be so effective and well made. "On top of being durable, it's lightweight, and its small build makes it easy to pack and take along on a trip without getting in the way. And best of all, it has helped my mood immensely," wrote one customer. "As I sit here writing this in Wisconsin in December, where the sun sets a bit after 4 p.m. and rises after I'm already at work, I feel energized and... well, not horribly depressed."
Of course, there are no miracle cures, but light therapy lamps are backed by years of studies pointing to their effectiveness in treating seasonal affective disorder. And while there are still many skeptics, plenty of them have found themselves surprised at the impact that a light therapy lamp has on their own mood.
"I really do not want to over-hype this thing but, after my daily 20-30 minutes of reading and/or grading papers in front of this device over the past six weeks, my attitude is completely different in a way that copious caffeine consumption could not possibly explain," one self-proclaimed skeptic shared. "I did not even have to wait for the difference to become apparent. I just feel good, and it lasts all day."
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