I’ve recently had a hard time sleeping, and I’m positive it’s because my regular routine has been completely upended now that I’m home all the time, with no real need to be anywhere at all. I’ve found myself dozing off on the couch at 4 p.m. every day, only to wake up with a start at 7:30 p.m. and then be awake until roughly 3 a.m. the next day. It hasn’t been good for my mental state, my skin, or quite frankly, my relationship, so after reading up on ways to sleep better, I decided to pull out my mini light-therapy lamp.
I first became aware of the Luxy Light by Cicadian Optics when I worked in an office next door to the casting department of Shark Tank — on which the founder appeared — but I had never actually been moved to unbox it.
According to the company, you’re supposed to use the miniature sunlight-mimicking lamp for 15 to 60 minutes every morning to signal to your brain that the day has officially started, which in turn works to get your internal body clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, back on track. The theory is that getting exposure to bright light in the morning, be it real sun or otherwise, makes a huge difference in your productivity throughout the day. Not getting enough light after waking up, apparently, can make you feel tired and sluggish come late afternoon.
I’d wanted a sunlight therapy lamp for ages, as I tend to get a bit sad anytime it’s gray, overcast, or rainy out, but they were always bulky, ugly, and expensive. The Luxy Light packs the power of an old-school 10,000-lux light box in a tiny, attractive, efficient package — and for a quarter the price of ones I’d considered in the past.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been setting the Luxy Light on my home-office desk, turning it on and basking in its light from about 7 to 8 a.m. every morning while I drink coffee, respond to emails, and check the news. I’ve found that it actually does have an effect on the rest of my day — it’s exactly like sitting outside with your face turned toward the full morning sun. It wakes me up, and it gives me a little boost of energy to get my day started, which in turn improves my overall mood. I haven’t felt sluggish in the afternoons since I started using the light religiously, and I’m convinced it’s the reason why. If you live in a somewhat dark apartment (or your work space is in a sun-deprived corner of your house), it’s a real godsend.
Even if you don’t need the benefits of light therapy to keep your life on track, I’ve found that it doubles as an ultrastrong reading or work light — and it can run off your computer’s USB port, making it extra convenient to use. In addition to relying on it every morning, I’ve found myself reaching for it every evening, too. Ever since Parker Posey influenced me into learning how to cross-stitch, I’ve used my Luxy Light to illuminate things while I work on the eyeglass case I’m making to send to my mom.
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