For many people, this time of year can bring on a certain type of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. When the clocks go back in October and the nights suddenly become longer, a feeling of gloom and low mood can descend on people who are particularly susceptible to light changes. It is thought that SAD affects around 1 in 50 people in the UK alone and symptoms include feeling tired and lethargic, onset of depression, changes in sleeping and eating behaviours and overall feeling of gloom. SAD is directly linked to the amount of sunlight we are exposed to and as such is associated with certain times of the year. It typically starts in late October, peaking around December and January and easing of around April.
Usual therapies for SAD include sitting in front of large light boxes for hours on end, and although these have proved to be successful, they are not particularly easy to incorporate into everyday life. However, a more user friendly method may be in the horizon as three Danish engineers have developed a pair of ‘sunglasses’ that they say can offer a blast of ‘bright, white daylight’ in just 30 minutes. The new glasses work by emitting six super bright light emitting diodes (LED’s) that produce a powerful light field which is then shone into the eyes by a curved reflector.
The Seqinetic ‘sun’ glasses were funded by the entrepreneurial small business start up site Kickstarter and now the glasses are fully functional and are being sold on Amazon.com. Described as ‘a calorie-free, substance-free way to beat the winter blues, they offer the bright, white daylight you’re craving – in a portable design. SEQINETIC “sun” glasses let you wear your light source while you go about your morning routine. And yes, you can read and use a computer while wearing them. Using SEQINETIC “sun” glasses for up to 30 minutes a day, and you’ll have much more energy during those long, dark winter months.’ The name SEQINETIC™ derives from ‘Seqineq’ which means Sun in Greenlandic, and from the Greek word ‘Kinetic’ which means to be in motion.
The glasses are powered by two AAA batteries, and cost £54 a pair. Available from Amazon