Monday, December 28, 2009

Are You SAD?

I do think there is such a thing as Seasonal Affective Disorder. I think I get it as we get into December, if not earlier. I really wonder if it has so much to do with how much light you're exposed to, though?

I know I the sun going down so early depresses me, but I think I kind of like the sun coming up later in the morning. I also know the cold, damp days this time of year really gets to me and it's gotten worse as I've gotten older.

As far as sunlight exposure goes, it would seem to me that I get more sunlight than most do because I work outdoors. I would think that would be more than the equivalent of those lamps some folks recommend for helping with SAD.

I figure all I can do is wait until February 1 when I'll at least get a boost from getting past January.
As an aside, I was quite surprised to read that Londoners only get one hour of daylight in December. Looking at a world map, I can see they are a bit further north than we are, but I thought you'd have to be further north than that to have winter days that short.


At 12:12 PM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

Stats for London Sunlight: Dec 21, 2009
Sunrise 8:04 AM
Sunset 3:53 PM

Lowest angle of sun above horizon
for the year at the highest point.15.1 deg.

Maybe the sun only comes out of the fog for and hour?

Yes Fred, there is Seasonal Affected Disorder. I highly recomend a warm brightly lit small room to live in. Get some of the flourecent lights that are recomended. I almost have to wear sunglasses in my office, (Bright lights, white walls and cieling)but my mood and energy has been boosted by a Quantum Leap! Try it, you will like it!

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

P.S. You don't need to spend a bunch of money for a light. Regular "Daylite" color florescent bulbs will work fine. Just use way more than you would normally use for light. Almost hurt your eyes bright is the key.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suffer from PAD. Progressive Affective Disorder. Causes headaches, stomach and bowel upset, and extreme losses of income.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Maybe the sun only comes out of the fog for and hour?.

Or maybe it's a local joke among Londoners. Seemed weird to me as one hour of daylight is Arctic stuff.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Fred. I suspect somebody is pulling somebody's leg with that story of one hour of sunlight in London.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Joy Finley said...

try 2000 mgs of vitamin D per day.
that should perk you up.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

I have solved this with a couple of MH lamps on digital ballasts. "Daylight" bulbs are not economically sound to generate the necessary lumens to grow... accustomed to northern latitudes. Although the bulbs themselves are cheap, the electricity they draw far exceeds what you would end up paying over a few years to run for example a 250 watt MH replacing the bulb every 9 months and ballast every 5-10 years.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

I think that Mr. Nice is hinting that you can cure your depression by growing a little weed and using it. I think that the metal-halide lights would put-out too much ultra-violet light for soaking in it.

I live in the "Medical Miracle Weed" capitol of the world, and believe me, it won’t do you any good. It will cure your depression, but you will become frozen in time and place by curing your depression in that way. If you want to still be productive, I would suggest light therapy, or vitamin D, or any of a number of other ways. Leave the Marijuana to the people that are already hyper-producers, and just need to kick back a little. You don’t need to kick back, you need a natural stimulus. What better way than bright natural light?

I saw one guy that moved into his greenhouse for light therapy. Got one?

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

Ernie, metal halide lamps don't put out ultraviolet light.

Plants love ultraviolet light and most artificial lamps simply don't throw enough UV to match the sun. Why else would iguana lamps be such a hot item in Humboldt? I don't know anyone with an iguana, but plenty of folks have the lamps. People do well with UV too, just not copious amounts of it.

What I was basically saying is that those fluorescent lights that claim to be good for SAD are a joke compared to a basic MH lamp. The spectrum is just not there, not even with "daylight" (T5) spectrum. Look at the spectral charts and how quickly the intensity falls off. You'd have to literally sit in the same spot with the fluorescent warming your hat to get the same effect as an ceiling-mounted MH with a focused reflector.

I make a point of sitting under MH light every morning between the fall and spring equinoxes. At our latitude, we barely get 9 hours of daylight in the winter with the first and last 2 hours being worthless for SAD. I see so many folks who are grumpy all winter. All they need is some light.

I am not saying grow indoor plants to cure SAD unless you hang out in the grow room every day... then yes, do that.

At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do what my grandparents did for sunlight, even during the winter months. They took walks together. Outside!


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