What’s up with Valkee

February 6, 2011 at 11:44 6 comments

So. In November I wrote about using Valkee, the Finnish earlight innovation to help manage through the dark season of the year. I had then used Valkee for two weeks and the results were convincing, tho, naturally, subjective. But as I’m the subject and I find it works, I’m happy.

Previous Valkee article: Valkee – light up your brain

People have been asking whether I still use Valkee and whether I still find it recommendable. Well, here’s a little brief about the current situation.

How long have you been using Valkee?

I’ve used it since the end of October, over three months now. First I did it for 12 minutes per day, now I’ve been doing it for 8 minutes per day

Has there been any changes after the initial (positive) impact it had on your energy levels and mood?

Well not much. After the first week of using it I had some troubles waking up too early but that solved quickly as I started to sleep until my usual 5:50 AM. I haven’t experienced the absolute total exhaustion I’ve had in the past after the darkest months. I’ve been sleeping mostly okay despite some work related  stress (just busy) but had some stress provoked wake ups and nightmares. Still, I haven’t been sleepy during the days.

Have you experimented dropping Valkee for a awhile and if, were there any noticeable effects?

I have. I went almost two weeks without Valkee. The period didn’t have a major impact on my energy or mood, but it did have some. I started to get more tired and I was more easily irritated. After going back on using Valkee I felt my mood brighten up and really, I haven’t been tired in the sense I was before in the time of the polar night (as they seem to call kaamos). Of course I’m still tired after a rough day at work and hobbies but that’s different kind of fatigue.

Would you still recommend Valkee?

I would. It’s important to notice that the research is just preliminary and we’re going to have to wait for some more serious data but I feel that for me Valkee has been beneficial. It’s more effective than the normal bright light and I feel I don’t need to use the normal one anymore.

Are you going to continue using Valkee?

Yeps, I’m not giving up before the sun comes up when I wake. Now the sun rises in Helsinki 8:24 AM. There are still two and a half hours to go. Hurry up, sun, my beloved friend!

If you have any questions related to Valkee, please post them in comments. I’m happy to share my (very subjective and unscientific) opinions on the matter.

Entry filed under: Other. Tags: , .

Meditation Possible The Perfect Breakfast: Valkee+meditation

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Robert (NYC)  |  February 26, 2011 at 22:29

    There is some controversy in bright light therapy about the most effective safe visible light frequency to use. The commercial devices include 10,000 Lux white light from a large light box with fluorescent tubes and smaller LED light devices of various hues. The blue LED light devices claim to achieve quicker results at far lower LUX intensities. A manufacturer of a portable green LED device cites concern about using blue light and claims green works better.

    Do you know or can you find out from the University of Oulu what electromagnetic frequency range is emitted from the Valkee ear buds (in nanometers)? I suppose it is possible that the near-infrared range (sometimes given as 700-1400 nm) might also have been used.

    Also, do you know if or when additional information will be made available from the University on the details of the unpublished 25 person study that was briefly described on the Valkee web site?

    http://www.valkee.com/en/

    Thank you for your interesting reports.

    Reply
  • 2. Meri (Monkeyfood.net)  |  March 1, 2011 at 18:04

    Hi Robert and thanks for your comment!

    I ask Valkee about the frequency but they only told me they’re using “light as close to sunlight as possible”. I then asked the specific frequency but so far they haven’t replied.

    And re: the research; they are promising new results pretty soon but won’t give an exact date. I shall keep you updated!

    Really looking forward to hearing those research outcomes myself as well, I just gave up using Valkee a week ago, it’s starting to get really sunny here and the sun comes up earlier and stays up later. So yet again one winter behind!

    Anyway, I’ll come back commenting as soon as I’ll get further info.

    Glad I can help🙂

    Reply
  • 3. Carla  |  August 29, 2011 at 16:06

    Hi Meri, thank you for sharing your experience. Maybe I didn’t read it well enough, but your practice isn’t entirely clear to me. Do you use the device every day for weeks or even months? I get my old lightbox out mid-October, use it for two weeks for about 45 mins per day (which is admittedly unpleasant and unpractical) and then I’m ok for the rest of the Winter. I live in the Netherlands, so we have more light here than you have. But still, using it for months would seem a burden. I hope you can clarify this, I’m thinking about buying a Valkee though 200 euros is a lot of money.
    Best regards, Carla

    Reply
  • 4. Meri (Monkeyfood.net)  |  August 30, 2011 at 05:21

    Hi Carla!

    I did use the device (nearly) every day, yes. I usually start using the bright lights in October and I’m not quite sure when I stopped… Maybe in March. But as you see I’ve been using the “regular” bright lights for as long as well so if you manage to get by with a period of using it for two weeks I don’t know why Valkee wouldn’t work similarly?

    Still, I’m not thinking of it as a burden or a lot of trouble; a few minutes in the morning when it’s possible to meditate or maybe surf in the internet simultaneously is okay for me.

    I hope this helps, one way or the other!

    Kindest regards (and greetings to Netherlands!),

    Meri

    Reply
  • 5. Carla  |  August 30, 2011 at 20:56

    Hi Meri, thank you for your swift reply. Yes, it stands to reason that if you can use the Valkee in the same way you’d use a lightbox, then so can I. I’m tempted to give it a try! It certainly seems less burdensome than having to sit in front of the bright light every morning. One last question: you speak in the past tense, did you stop using it for some reason or was it just that the SAD-season ended?
    Best regards, Carla

    Reply
  • 6. Meri (Monkeyfood.net)  |  August 31, 2011 at 05:55

    Hiya again Carla!

    I would think it would work the same way, yes. If you give it a go please tell me how you’re doing!

    And yes, the sad season ended, it’s really, really light in Finland in the summertime (the sun doesn’t go down sometimes at all). Now it’s getting darker little by little so I’ll start using it after a month or so.

    Good luck which ever way you’re going to go!

    Meri

    Reply

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