Saturday, 19 September 2015

My Lumie Light

A few weeks ago on Instagram I said that I would write a review of my Lumie light after I had been using it for a month. I didn't want to jump into it straight away and say that it was wonderful, I wanted to know how it would affect me long term! This review is a bit later than intended, I have now been using it for almost 9 weeks most days. Initially I wasn't sure if it was doing much, but after a few days I noticed that I was sleeping better and felt more alert during the day.

Many people with M.E. use SAD lights to help them wake up in the morning, I had put off buying one for years as I wasn't convinced and they are quite pricey! But every year at around springtime for the last few years I have thought to myself that there must be something in it because I always feel that tiny bit better. When you are chronically ill you will do anything to make you feel better! SAD stands for seasonal affective disorder which is a form of depression that some people experience in the winter months when there is less light around. Although this is not the reason that people with M.E. use them, more on that later!

Since I have been using it I am sleeping much better (I have never been a good sleeper, and I honestly think that this is the best I have slept since I was an infant)! Not only am I sleeping earlier, but a deeper sleep and for not as long. I wake up at a more consistent time and actually feel drowsy, yes drowsy in the evenings before sleep! Anyone who has M.E. or who knows me well will know that despite popular belief M.E. sufferers rarely feel sleepy or tired. We are just in a state of permanent exhaustion making it very hard to sleep!

Being a SAD light it also combats some of the psychological symptoms of being chronically ill and locked up in the house all day. There is no doubt that it makes me feel "brighter". I don't see the sun much, and do not therefore benefit from it's natural endorphin inducing effects. I do wonder if all the years of very low sunlight exposure have given me a very mild form of SAD. I do know that the sun gives me quite a happiness boost when I am lucky enough to see it!

In the leaflet that comes with it it also says that one of the benefits of using the light is that it counteracts over-eating. This is something that I am mildly aware of, feeling sluggish all day and low on energy, I am often drawn to snacking. In my mind I hope that it will give me an energy boost. (I always want to have the maximum energy possible.) It has lead to a slight habit of overeating, not extreme by any case but it is certainly something that exists in my life! Since I have been using the light regularly this is another thing that has changed. I now have much more defined meals and feel full once I have eaten. I consume less calories per day and feel much better for it.

Yes I still have M.E, yes I am still ill! The light certainly is't a cure for it, but In my experience it combats a few of the symptoms. In the long run it must be doing me some sort of good especially as a result of the better quality sleep.

I think that people shy away from trying SAD lights because of their connection with mental Heath. It doesn't work because M.E. Is caused by depression at all, it is because there are benefits that the body gets from exposure to the full spectrum of light, which people who are not regularly exposed to sunlight don't benefit from. The hormones that control sleep are set into rhythm by natural light; mood and "alertness" are also improved. I hope that this will be a way for me to get the most out of my health at the level that it is at.

Many brands make SAD light boxes, I decided to go with Lumie as they seemed to be a high quality brand. I bought a refurbished box for I think £69 which works perfectly, it arrived the next day! They offer a trial period of 1 month so if you do not notice an improvement within that period of time, you will get a full refund no questions asked. I bought the model Zest which I would highly recommend, it is portable so I will be able to take it with me if I go away.

This product won't be for everyone, is not a cure and it must be used every day preferably at the same time to be effective. Obviously there is always a chance that some of my M.E. symptoms may have naturally improved over this period of time. However the good quality sleep and brightened mood in particular I am convinced are due to the light therapy.

Needless to say I was not paid by Lumie to write this review!

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