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  • Writer's pictureRachael Scarr

Mr. Golden Sun

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

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Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me. Anyone feel this extra hard during the winter? Or on a rainy day? Or even during quarantine when it’s more difficult and there’s less need (or desire) to go outside? I most certainly do. I get antsy without that bath of vitamin D…or even worse, I get depressed. My body craves that bright light in my face and on my skin, and the warmth it provides.

I love my apartment, but we unfortunately don’t have the luxury of much natural sunlight, especially in my room. I was finding it difficult last year to feel fully awake during the day. I was heading into my evening job not feeling fully rested or fully energized. Sure, I’m sure it also had something to do with my sleep habits, but I was still craving that extra sunshine, that extra light. A walk is a glorious way to get it in, but I don’t always have the means or the time to do so - or the right weather (hello random summer/spring/fall showers!).

Enter my sun lamp! So sweetly gifted to me by my mother for Christmas last year. It (quite literally) brightens my day. I turn it on for 10-20 minutes in the morning upon waking and I instantly feel that little charge of energy - like the sun is greeting me and helping me start the day. While it doesn’t emit warmth like the sun, I can physically feel it working, similar to a cup of coffee (without the digestive effects). When not in use, I leave it plugged in and turned off down on the floor next to my chair and just pull it up atop my dresser when the moment strikes. It also has the ability to be hung on a wall, should you so choose.

It’s rectangular in shape and almost resembles a make-up mirror in structure. There are multiple brightness settings and color tones, as well as an automatic shut-off timer. I, however, just turn it off and on as needed. Some mornings I use it for five minutes, other mornings for twenty. More than twenty minutes a day is not recommended as it can start to lead to a jittery feeling - similar to your coffee - but it is never harmful.

Sun lamps help to regulate your body’s levels of melatonin - the hormone that aides in controlling your sleep cycle - and serotonin - the hormone that regulates your mood. Unlike the sun, it gives off no UV rays, so you don’t have to worry about that pesky burn. It also will not replace your body’s need for vitamin D, so make sure you still keep an eye on your vitamin levels. My doctor recommends most everyone take vitamin D supplements in order to promote healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. But of course check in with your own doctor before starting any supplements!

While it won’t solve all of your mental or physical ailments, a sun lamp is a nice addition to the day if you find yourself craving more light. And I do find that it gives me a nice little extra boost. They come in many forms, some even as an alarm clock, and the reviews can be varied. But if you find yourself curious, explore the Verilux HappyLight VT43 Luxe (or something of the kind) a little more. It might be just what you need.

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11 нояб. 2020 г.

Great writing! I like those sun lamps too, although here in Indiana the weather is still warm lately. I look forward to more posts :)

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