Sunday, August 4, 2013

Valkee ear light

As part of my condition I have light sensitivity so I live in darkness. Most people think that just means I have my curtains closed but actually I have a blackout blind which is sealed around the edge of my window with wood holding them in place, over that is heavy curtains. The curtains on the landing are kept closed as are the doors because otherwise too much light comes around the door frame.  So as I was saying I'm light sensitive.

I don't suffer from depression, its amazing I don't as most people deprived of sunlight do, unfortunately though this combined with being unable to walk has resulted in osteoporosis. My hormone levels are all out and my sleep pattern is all over the place. I always knew the sun gave us vitamin D, that it affected sleep patterns and a lack of light causes people Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but I didn't know how much your Circadian rhythm controls.

Someone mentioned to me that a Norwegian friend used a Valkee ear light to help with a lack of sunlight and that it had really helped them. I did some research which involved Googling and asking my friend Dan who keeps up to date with all thing science and research. I found some studies about 
about the ear light vs a sad lamp and results seemed positive, Dan said there had been a positive article in New Scientist recently. Information on the site said that the ear light improves energy, depression, SAD and sleep disorders (it should be noted it can't provide Vit D so still need supplements).  I decided to bite the bullet and order a Valkee ear light.

The ear light looks just like an iPod but instead of speakers there are little lights which sit inside your ear. It couldn't be simpler to use, pop the ear lights in, press the button and in 12 minutes it will beep and turn itself off. There were different size covers for the ear lights but I prefer to use them without.

I was worried it might have a negative effect on me so started using it for only a minute and built up. The idea is that light is able to travel through the ear canal to the brain which is covered with light receipting cells. I had no idea if its my brain or eyes that are sensitive to light but thankfully I've had no negative effects. The standard time of use is 12 minutes and it comes programmed for this but if you plug it into your computer (with a USB cable) you can change the length of time on the Valkee website. I use it when having breakfast and can still hear perfectly. 

I've not noticed a difference to my energy levels which isn't a surprise but I think it might be helping my sleep pattern. My sleep pattern was going through a better phase but seemed to last a lot longer than normal and when I stopped using it I found myself slipping onto sleep reversal again. I'm going to keep using it!

They are expensive, £186.50 on their website but I got mine on Amazon for £139, for me it has been worth it. I was disappointed that such an expensive product didn't come with a charger, just a USB cable but I either charge it from my laptop or with my Kindle charger, I'm amazed at how long the battery life is. I would recommend them to people with SAD or light sensitivity.

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