My regime isn’t working, what am I doing wrong?

When we first start working on reducing the symptoms we can find that we don’t feel better as quickly as we like.  Sometimes it can take days or weeks for a difference to be noticed, however, to check that you are following the best regime these questions are helpful.

  •  Is your lamp definitely 10,000 (10k) Lux?

Many lamps are sold as SAD lamps but can be as low as 2500 lux.  This is not bright enough for most SAD sufferers.  As a rule of thumb buy the largest and brightest lamp you can afford, this isn’t something to save money on.

  • What distance is the lamp away from your eyes?

When using your lamp it is important that you sit close enough; if it is too far away you are effectively reducing the brightness.  Some small lamps need to be as close as 12″ away from your eyes to be effective.  If you have access to a photographer’s light meter it might help to measure at what distance your lamp is at 10,000 lux

  • Do you use your lamp religiously at the same time every day or just when you remember?

It is important that you use your lamp every day, irrespective of how light it is outside.  You are training your circadian rhythm and any missed days will allow it to reset back to an unhealthy status

  • Have you taken the circadian rhythm tests to find out when it is best for you to use your light?

Although most instructions that come with lights say that you should use your light in the morning we are all different.  Some people need to use them earlier in the morning and some benefit more for using them in the early evening.  There are tests that you can take to help you find out when it is best for you to use your light.  These tests can be found on the links page.  Ultimately it is best to use the results you get from the tests as a guideline and then pay attention to how the light affects you as an individual.  In doing this you can start to alter the time you use your light to best suit your needs.

  • What dose is the vitamin d3 supplement you are taking?

The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin D3 in many countries appears to be woefully low.  Here in the UK it is 800iu, in Canada it has been suggested to be as high as 2000iu.  Many people are very deficient and so taking small doses may not be enough to raise your levels.  Considering this I would suggest researching the dose you are taking along with toxic doses and possibly increasing the amount you take.

  • Are you also taking magnesium citrate?

It has come to light that magnesium is helpful in the body’s process of using the Vitamin D3 supplement along with having its own benefits when it comes to anxiety and depression.  It is worth considering supplementing with this along side your Vitamin D3.