Anyone tried light therapy?

I’ve been hearing about light therapy recently from people like Andrew Huberman and how it can improve day-time alertness and sleep. Has anyone tried this and seen any noticeable positive results? I’m especially interested to hear from people who have used these SAD lamps (due to the time of year currently).

I’m considering combing this with the ‘cold plunge’ (which Huberman is also advocating for combined with light therapy) prior to morning workouts. He is making some pretty strong claims on the effects of these types of things. Perhaps they would be good deep dive material for a podcast!

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I haven’t noticed a big difference with the lights but my doc recommended vitamin D supplements. I’m not sure if it is the wattage or time of exposure that might be falling short, but the noticeable change happened with the Vitamin D, and that is not as good as sunny days.

I try to use some time doing light therapy every morning if possible, although mostly during the dark months. Part of it is that I struggle with seasonal depression, so at a minimum if helps to have a sunlight-like “treatment” every morning, even if it is placebo. However, I think there is something to the help set circadian rhythm in the morning, and telling your brain it’s time to be up and ready to do things. It’s really hard to quantify something like this though.

Hey, I’m using light therapy and started this winter. Rather unintelligently I started using a light box in conjunction with a supplement routine. So it’s hard to say for certain the impact of the light therapy. That said my protocol is:

  • rise at 5:45
  • light box at 6:00 to 6:15 on whilst I drink 750ml of water with electrolytes, vitamin b supplements and vitamin d supplements (during this time I also try to avoid doom scrolling)
  • workout

I have always suffered with SAD and being in the UK we are now entering 3 months of limited sunlight due to overcast weather and daylight hours. I feel much more alert and the general malaise of depression is definitely reduced. To be honest, the performance aspect will be impossible for me to quantify but the wellbeing impact has been incredible.

I started using light therapy this winter at the advice of my therapist. Mainly for SAD and general winter morning sluggishness. It’s a tablet-sized 10,000 lux light. I began by using it for around 15 mins in advance of my morning workouts.

After some experimentation, I now combine it with my trainer workouts. I place it on the same stand where my laptop is situated in front of my bike (within the recommended distance). My sense of alertness and energy level is higher when using it. Sometimes, I skip pre-training coffee, and my desire/need for coffee in the AM is generally lower. Overall my N=1 experience is positive.

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