If you didn't already know, I live in Seattle which becomes pretty dark and gloomy for about 70% of the year. That means the winters can be pretty dark, with very limited sun exposure, unless I go on vacation. Bright light on your skin signals your cells to create MORE energy via your thyroid gland and bright light is also a conversion promoter of hormone synthesis. These are in part the reasons why people tend to feel more sluggish, have lower energy production, and experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the dark months of the year.
"Darkness suppresses mitochondrial function, and light activates it." – Dr. Ray Peat
Here’s how you can create your own happy light for light therapy in your home or office during the winter. If you find these at your local hardware store they should cost you under $20, and a bit more online with shipping. I even added a programmable light switch so that my bright light wakes me up in the morning instead of an alarm clock.
How to make your own happy light:
- 250 watt incandescent bulb or heat lamp (like this)
- Brooder clamp light with porcelain ceramic socket (like this)
That's all you need! Find a good place to mount the light in your home or office, and incorporate it into your daily routine.
Note: This isn't a light you want to look into directly, but instead expose to your skin for at least 15-20 minutes a day from a safe distance to get the benefits during those dark winter months.
If you don't want to make your own, you can pick up something (like this) to use in your home or office.
Do your energy levels drop in the winter and rise in the summer? Please share in the comments!
Stem cells, cell culture, and culture: Issues in regeneration by Ray Peat
Light Therapy: Amp Up Your Life! by Josh Rubin