18th January 2016

As “Blue Monday” draws closer, as many as 20% of people may be suffering from the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD is a form of depression that people experience during the darker winter months. Most of us are affected by the change in seasons – it is normal to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, or to find that you eat more or sleep longer in winter.

However, if you experience SAD, the change in seasons will have a much greater effect on your mood and energy levels, and lead to symptoms of depression that have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. 

A recent article in the HR Director journal found that nearly a quarter of UK employers have encountered SAD in the workplace. Almost three-quarters of the HR professionals surveyed noticed a downturn in mood among staff during the dark winter months. In addition, 43 percent said they also noticed a downturn in staff productivity during winter.

For the individual, advice from the NHS states that there are a number of simple things you can try that may help improve your symptoms, such as:

  • Get as much natural sunlight as possible
  • Make work and home environments as light and airy as possible
  • Sit near windows when indoors
  • Take plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet

The royal college of psychiatrists strongly recommend seeking as much exposure to natural light as possible.  One way to bring more natural light into both the home and work environment is to install a Monodraught SUNPIPE® LuxLoop. This innovative low-energy hybrid lighting system was recently launched together with UK manufacturer PhotonStar™.

SUNPIPE LuxLoop combines the SUNPIPE natural daylight system with an incredibly efficient and intelligent LED solution.  The SUNPIPE directs healthy natural light from its patented Diamond Dome through the SUPER-SILVER® finish aluminium tube to the ceiling diffuser. In the evening or when the level of external light is insufficient to properly light the space, the system is complimented by its advanced LED, from PhotonStar™, and intelligently managed by the Halcyon™ wireless control.  The result is a complete and ultra-low energy lighting system, suitable for any location with guaranteed lighting performance.

By partnering with PhotonStar™ and implementing Halcyon™ controls we can offer the ability to control your lighting system in line with circadian rhythms.  Circadian rhythms are the biological processes that regulate the sleep-wake cycle. The phase of the circadian rhythm can be advanced or delayed by exposure to bright light at specific times. For example there is evidence to show that blue light can be beneficial during daylight or productive hours whilst it might disrupt sleep in the evening.  Halcyon™ controls can emulate changing daylight using the LED.

In addition, the SUNPIPE LuxLoop’s luminaire provides up to 4000 lumens, together with the SUNPIPE itself which delivers up to 4000 lumens, meaning that end-users will experience a bright environment at all times of day, thereby helping to combat or reduce the effects of SAD. 

In addition to our SUNPIPE helping to combat some of the symptoms of SAD, Monodraught are also committed to supporting Bucks Mind in our local community.  Most recently 12 of our employees completed Santa’s Fun Run in Marlow to raise money and awareness for the charity.

To learn more about SAD, including how you can access treatment and support please visit Mind or our local branch of Bucks Mind, where you can also make a donation or volunteer to support their vital work. 

To discover how to bring natural light or our hybrid lighting solution into your home or office environment please contact us on 01494 4897700.

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