• Sweden edition
 
Depressed Swedes get bus stop light therapy

Depressed Swedes get bus stop light therapy

Published: 27 Nov 2012 12:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Nov 2012 12:13 GMT+01:00

"We wanted to show we care about the people living here in Umeå at this dark time of the year, people get depressed if they don't see the light,” Umeå Energi CEO Göran Ernstson told The Local

The company installed so called anti-SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lights in 30 of the city’s bus stops last week.

Umeå, which lies some 500 kilometres north of Stockholm, is only light for around five hours a day at this time of year. Into December, as the temperature plummets, this figure shrinks by an hour.

The snow has not yet settled, and as a result the city is even darker than usual, something the energy company wants to fight artificially.

“Umeå residents both own us and are our customers and we believe we all need to be re-energized when it gets like this," Ernstson continued.

"Even though it snowed today, the sun had set by 2pm. People need to get their vitamin D somehow!”

The energy company boasts that the energy used to power the lamps comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower.

In addition, the lights filter out harmful UV rays, preventing potential eye and skin damage for those standing beneath them waiting for the bus.

However, not everyone in Umeå is beaming with the new additions to the bus stops.

Local resident Tomas Helleborg claims the lights are so dazzling that it’s almost a struggle moving past them.

“The light is quite bright indeed and directed to the street outside the bus-stops, and I don't really like them,” he told The Local.

“They’re simply too bright when you’re biking or driving past in the dark!”

Light therapy is a known treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder by compensating for lost sunlight exposure and resetting the body's internal clock.

Also known as heliotherapy and phototherapy, it can be also used to treat skin, sleep and psychiatric disorders.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:33 November 27, 2012 by skatty
I have lived in north and south, there is 5 hours day light for both south and north in winters, but the interesting thing about the north cities is that street lamps have no reflection. The darkness in north is so dark that it's like living in a black hole. The street lamps are like candles far away from streets, no light reflection on the streets!

Some times I just wonder, how I could end up in Sweden!
18:55 November 27, 2012 by Acta
If you really care about us, please make sure the bus drivers don't leave the bus stop before the time. Because of winter, it is quite difficult to wait for the next bus. It is ok to come 2 or 3 minutes later but it is not ok to leave even 1 minute earlier. Why should I suffer when I come on time.
15:24 November 30, 2012 by Gjeebes
Ya, good luck with that. If you are north of Stockholm, there is little one can do about the depressing environment; and it isn't only in the winter season.
19:18 November 30, 2012 by tadchem
Phototherapy resets the biological clock by causing the epithelial cells in the retina to photochemically produce melatonin in the chromophores. What is needed is about 30 minutes of long-wave ultraviolet (UV-A), unfiltered, directly into the eye. It ned not be very bright. UV filtering glasses will muck it up.

The melatonin released by the retinal cells follows the optic nerve directly into the brain to reset the clock. Your brain and body will think it's morning.

I use this trick to treat 'jet lag'. It is safer and more reliable than melatonin pills.

Use it in the evening and your body will want to stay up late, and want to sleep in the next day. You should avoid the UV-A light after 5 PM.
00:07 December 1, 2012 by theobserver
This is great, but a better cure for depression is communication with human beings, something that Swedes hate. I say "hello" to them and they turn away. Weird people!
Today's headlines
Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

The Local List
Top ten: Swedish taboos
The butter knife is for butter. Photo: Mats Sandelin/TT

Top ten: Swedish taboos

From standing in line to taking your hols in the off-season, Sweden is a society with customs and faux pas, the Danes might say taboos. Here is a list of ten to watch out for. READ  

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine
A tank in Horlivka. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/TT

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine

A mediator who handles prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels said on Wednesday that he feared for the life of a kidnapped Swede. READ  

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'
Photo: TT

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'

Swedish power group Vattenfall said on Wednesday that second quarter losses had been cut despite trying market conditions, forecasting that energy prices were unlikely to recover in the "foreseeable future". READ  

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Swedish actors Peter Johansson, Anna Sahlin and Måns Zelmerlöw. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics

Who is the fairest of them all? Swedes are, according to the rest of the Nordic nations in a recent survey. READ  

My Swedish Career
American teams up with Swede to beat cancer
Matthew Volsky holding the Gynocoular colposcope which is used for screening cervical cancer. Photo: Gynocoular

American teams up with Swede to beat cancer

When Matthew Volsky first came to Sweden he didn't think he would stick around. Six years and a pioneering invention later he tells The Local about the medical device which is helping save lives around the world. READ  

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Arla organic milk. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth

Swedes are spending more and more of their food budget on organic foodstuffs, with major supermarkets reporting double digit increases, according to new statistics. READ  

Swedish police warn of rogue pregnant cow
The cow pictured is not the one in the story, and presumably not cranky. Photo: Mike Groll/TT

Swedish police warn of rogue pregnant cow

Police in southern Sweden have issued a public warning about a pregnant cow on the loose, after two people were sent to the hospital after a hustle with the heifer. READ  

Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Photo: Mark Lennihan/TT

Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax

With EU countries' treatment of Bitcoin varying vastly, Sweden has asked for clear EU rules stipulating whether or not the cryptocurrency should be taxed. READ  

Google in failed bid for Sweden's Spotify
Photo: Spotify

Google in failed bid for Sweden's Spotify

US Internet giant Google tried last year to buy Sweden-based streaming music service Spotify, but pulled out due to the beefed-up price tag, according to a media report on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

702
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se