• 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)

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
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

985
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
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
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