• Sweden's news in English
 

Depressed Swedes get bus stop light therapy

The Local · 27 Nov 2012, 12:13

Published: 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)

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
Migrant crisis
Sweden sees ten-year high in asylum seekers
Migrants wait inside a railway station in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP

Sweden sees ten-year high in asylum seekers

7 hours ago

UPDATED: More than ten thousand people applied for asylum in Sweden in August – the highest figure in a decade. Meanwhile, volunteer organizations are reporting being flooded with donations for refugees as heartbreaking pictures emerge from the growing crisis.

Migrant crisis
How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Asylum seekers in Halmstad, Sweden earlier this year. Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

How to help refugees if you live in Sweden

41 minutes ago

As images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a Turkish beach spark debate around the world, The Local looks at some of the ways you can help refugees if you live in Sweden, which is continuing to take in more asylum seekers than any other EU nation.

Shock as Avicii pulls plug on 2015 gigs
Avicii at a gig in Stockholm in June 2015. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Shock as Avicii pulls plug on 2015 gigs

2 hours ago

Fans were raging on Thursday after DJ superstar Avicii's announced a decision to cancel all gigs for the rest of 2015. The Swedish artist cited a hectic summer and his need to "grow up".

Sweden keeps record negative interest rate
Swedish kronor. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden keeps record negative interest rate

5 hours ago

Sweden's central bank (the Riksbank) is keeping its key interest rate, the repo, at a record low of -0.35 percent.

More and more Swedish priests untie the knot
An increasing number of Swedish priests are getting divorced. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

More and more Swedish priests untie the knot

6 hours ago

The total number of divorced Swedes is dropping as more couples appear to choose to stick together. But one surprising group is bucking the trend: priests.

What's on in Sweden
Five fun events to make you laugh in Sweden
The circus is coming to town. Photo: Mats Bäcker/Underart/Cirkus Cirkör

Five fun events to make you laugh in Sweden

8 hours ago

Swedes are a surprisingly fun, as well as funny, bunch. Here are five events we hope will put a smile on your face this week as well as our regular interactive calendar of all the top events around Sweden.

Tax changes could cut costs for Swedish firms
Sweden is home to many of the world's successful startups, such as Spotify. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Tax changes could cut costs for Swedish firms

1 day ago

UPDATED: Swedish Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg has told The Local about his action plan to turn Stockholm into the top startup city in the world. But critics of his proposals say they are too vague.

Euro 2016
‘I get a kick out of doing things that hurt you’
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Pontus Lindahl/TT

‘I get a kick out of doing things that hurt you’

21 hours ago

Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has caused a stir after mouthing off in a press conference when a Swedish journalist asked about his business interests, ahead of his national side's Euro 2016 qualifier with Russia.

Hairy Swedish panties sew up artist's reputation
The hairy knickers. Photo: Private

Hairy Swedish panties sew up artist's reputation

22 hours ago

A pair of knickers made from thousands of strands of human hair has knitted overnight success for its maker. Swedish craftswoman Nina Sparr tells The Local that her efforts mirror a traditional craft that has been popular in her family for centuries.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

1 day ago

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Gallery
People-watching: September 2nd
National
VIDEO: Swedish longboarder builds dreams with viral film
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
National
Swedish billionaire blasted for 'lonely' Twitter rant
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
Blog updates

28 August

Editor’s blog, August 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, It was all glitz and glamour in Sweden this week as Stockholm Fashion Week got..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Property of the week: Stuverum, Västervik
National
Swedish ship rescues 5,295 refugees
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
Gallery
People-watching: August 28th-30th
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
National
IN PICTURES: Shoppers pay tribute to Ikea stabbing victims
Technology
Danish 'monster' pulled out of Swedish waters
National
Bizarre baby baptism for hockey fan
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
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

3,165
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se