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If you live anywhere a bit north or south of the equator you can understand how lack of sunlight can affect your sleep schedule. I live in Minnesota where the sun sets around 5pm during most of the winter. That means that you are usually going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Too much of this routing will inevitably lead to changes in mood and energy levels. You can also get this same side effect from traveling to different time zones where your body has to adjust to local time. A common problem among business travelers.

To remedy this, I have purchased a “Happy Light” which I would sit in front of for about half an hour each morning, or at least try to. Usually I am way too busy with getting the kids out the door and trying to get to work on time to spare another half our to sit tethered in front of a light.

Enter the Re-Timer. It’s works just as effectively if not more so than a happy light and it can be worn just like a regular pair of glasses. UV free light unobtrusively beams right to where your body needs it the most to get you energized and back on schedule. Since it’s portable, I’m much more likely to put them on and can even use them in bed while my wife is still sleeping without waking her up as well. The Re-Timer is charged with a standard USB cable and each charge lasts up to 4 hours. Given I only need to use it for 30 minutes a day I can go a whole week without having to recharge. If you travel frequently it’s your best bet for getting your sleeping schedule in sync with local time. It comes with a nice carrying case that can pack neatly into your suitcase.

The Re-Timer is backed by peer reviewed research that proves its efficacy. Knowing that, if you have been diagnosed with SAD, you may be able to purchase this product as a Health Savings Account (HSA) expense, tax free.

I look forward to using my Re-Timer this coming fall as the days start getting shorter and will report on my progress as winter approaches. In the mean time, do yourself and your sleep a favor and get one of these!

Update 12-17-15

We’re getting close to the Winter Solstice and I am feeling the full effects of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This past week I have had an insatiable appetite, especially for carbohydrates. In fact, I bought a box of donuts on impulse on the drive home from work a few days ago and ate 3 that night. I’m lethargic and have a short temper.

Thankfully I remembered the re timer. I used it this morning at 6am for 20 minutes in bed. It’s very convenient and doesn’t light up the entire room so that your significant other can still seep. It’s amazing how dark it really gets this time of year in Minnesota. It took me a little while just to tolerate the light near my eyes let alone wear the glasses. After 20 minutes I turned them off and the room looked pitch black.

It takes about 4 days for the effects of the re timer to kick in so I am going to do this all weekend. I’m also going to keep to a consistent sleep time which will also help with energy levels.

It’s nice to know that I have this tool in my sleep arsenal. Check out more reviews of the Re Timer at Amazon.

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