Thyroid UK

Anyone else using a SAD light?

I've been using a SAD light for the last few weeks (I have a Beurer TL60) and it really doesn't seem to be helping much, which is deeply annoying as I so loathe using it. I realised I'd been keeping it too far from my face (helpful tip: read the directions) so I sat it much closer and must be now getting the benefit of it but still no results.

I don't know that I'm depressed as such, more that it is like my body doesn't know which way is up and I'm going to bed/waking later and later because *if it's always dark how would you know when it's day and when it's night*?? So I stumble through the days like a zombie. My energy levels are on. the. floor. (Lol, I've been saying that for months now but it's like a trap door opened and revealed a whole new floor to be on.)

I'm going to do a blood test soon just to make sure I'm not underdosed (I have Hashi's) but I did increase my meds a month or so ago when I started feeling down in the dumps. I don't expect to be far off the right dose.

Any thoughts?

6 Replies

You might have an adrenal issue - too much or too little cortisol perhaps.

I haven't been good at regulating my sleep pattern for nearly 50 years. I've suffered from insomnia and waking up like a zombie almost all that time.

But things got a lot worse than usual in the latter half of 2016. I became completely nocturnal and I found it very hard to shift. I used a light box for a while with minimal impact on my sleeping habits. If I tried to force myself to stay up during daylight I would suddenly drop off to sleep in seconds, and if I didn't sit down or lie down I thought I would fall down.

I'm sure you are aware that cortisol production has a circadian rhythm. I think melatonin production has a circadian rhythm too. Perhaps your various rhythms have got out of whack, so that your cortisol is at a minimum at 6pm and your melatonin is at a maximum at 10am (for example).

I know my cortisol has been high, and I'm treating myself with Holy Basil which is helping. I'm back to sleeping at night time again. Perhaps you could do an adrenal stress profile and see whether your cortisol is okay.

Another possibility is that you could buy melatonin and try that out. Start with tiny, tiny doses e.g. 0.25 - 0.5 mg and only increase when you are sure the tiny amount isn't working. I have found that about a quarter or a third of a 3mg pill helped me, but I couldn't take it every night. I haven't taken it for some time now - I need to buy some more.

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Like you I have always had problems regulating my sleep patterns, but when I was young I could cope better. I think the issues are sleep avoidance and maybe something hormonal. I suspect my personal internal days have always been a bit longer than most.

Interestingly, the only noticeable improvement w the light is feeling appropriately sleepy a number of hours after using it. That was quite a revelation as I otherwise could stay up virtually all night without feeling ready for bed. Sadly this doesn't mean I will have good quality sleep nor does it help me to feel rested or wake at an appropriate time in the morning. So it helps me know when to go to bed but it doesn't help me feel better.

I know my adrenals were out of whack when tested a few years ago but they never responded to treatment so I kind of closed that door. I may need to go down that road again but I need to find a practitioner to help me. I can't possibly get my head together to figure it all out myself.

Thanks for the ideas, v helpful.

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I tried treating my adrenals when I first found out about my high cortisol over three years ago. I would describe my success at the time as "mediocre and short-lived". I wasn't anywhere near correctly treated for my thyroid at the time, and my nutrients levels were extremely poor.

Since then I have got my thyroid numbers closer to a healthy level, and my nutrients have been good for a while. When I decided to have a go at treating my adrenals again in November/December (it was my sleeping problems that forced the issue) I got a much better response than I did originally.

So, perhaps re-visiting your adrenal health and cortisol levels etc may be worth another go now, since they were previously out of whack. Presumably some things have improved since your previous attempt.


Well back then I was being treated by a very dynamic doctor (the one who first added t3 and had me on a million supplements), whereas now I am not likely to be in better condition, but I can remedy that.

(I intended to take a blood test so I went off my supplements but then I raised my meds and am waiting for that to stabilise so have got all out of sync. Does anyone else stop supplementing just before a blood test? Trying not to artificially raise the results but then sometimes I stay off them longer than I intended. Easy enough to just go right back on the usual though.)

Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to find I wasn't the only one to have a lacklustre response to adrenal treatment. I always think this about others - what didn't work the first time may work the second time - but am so fed up I neglected to apply it to myself. :-) I'm so reluctant to have to educate myself in the way of adrenals right now when I'm at my lowest ebb, but that's no reason not to find someone who may be able to help me.

Thanks again!


I stop all my supplements for about a week except the ones I simply refuse to do without. For example I continue to take magnesium and potassium because if I stop them I get issues with muscle tension, spasm and cramp. I also continue my 5-HTP (an anti-depressant).


Ok, glad to hear it isn't just me. I like to get an idea of what I'm retaining as my levels seem to fall so quickly. Like you I wouldn't stop, say, b12 as it is a known issue.


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