Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Valkee To The Rescue!

Once again we have reached the time of the year when my system is slowly starting its hibernation procedures. I'm a summer person through and through - which makes me wonder why I was born in Finland of all countries..

I have suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder - or Winter Blues or whatever people want to call it - for as long as I can remember. Around the time I was in my teens people started talking about autumn or polar night depression/tiredness and I realised what made all of my energy to disappear. The period between the end of September and end of January here in Finland - and during the three years I lived in Scotland - were a complete nightmare. I felt constantly exhausted, anxious and miserable, I snapped because of the tiniest obstacles (like dropping a paper or pen on the floor - how dramatic!) and completely lost my sense of humor. I was graving foods with high levels of carbs and starch, so I was overeating them and gaining weight. I felt like the darkness was consuming me and felt trapped. It's hard to describe the helplessness I felt. Over the years I've tried the bright light lamps, wake-up lights, added D-vitamin etc - and they have helped a little but haven't brought the much needed overall help to make me feel normal again during the autumn and winter months. 


I first heard of Valkee in 2011 and like so many other people, I laughed. It does sound absolutely ridiculous, doesn't it? Bright light ear-plugs? You stick them in your ears?! However, I was desperate and the results Valkee had shown already by then encouraged me to give them a try.

It took me a couple of weeks to notice anything and even when I thought Valkee was helping I was still doubting the impact. It was around late November when I suddenly realised "Oh wow. It's almost December and... I feel normal?! No anxiety? No overwhelming tiredness and feeling completely miserable? My husband can tease me and I'm not trying to bite his head off? I don't get rage attacks and throw things around? I haven't even been over-eating!" My husband agreed with my observations, he too had noticed that the "SAD-me" had not surfaced that year. To quote him: "I should send Valkee a thank you letter for giving me my wife back".


This will be my third year using Valkee and I'm never going to give it up. Even the long snowless autumn last year made it even darker and more miserable here in Finland but I felt like my normal self, even in the middle of the stress of completing my Master's thesis. That's another thing I've noticed - it seems like using the ear light has decreased my stress levels too. I have also gotten rid of my regular migraines and other PMS issues. I simply cannot believe the difference a tiny ear-plug device can make.

I have to point out though that I have been using Valkee, a bright light (SAD) lamp and a wake-up light nearly every day during the autumn and winter months, so I'm not totally sure if there is some kind of combined impact, but I do know that just the bright light lamp and the wake-up light didn't make such a huge difference. My husband has been using it for one autumn/winter period too and noticed having more energy - and feeling suddenly cranky or incredibly tired if he missed a day or two of treatments. I have also recommended Valkee for my friends, still warning them that it may not work for everyone, but I have only received positive feedback from them, too.

I know there are people who say that it's fake or it's just placebo, but I really don't even care. It helps me and it has given me back the five months that were missing from my year.
Illustrations by henrihakkinen.com (photosensitive brain areas) for Valkee, 2011 

Do you have experiences of Valkee? Have you even heard of it before? I'm interested in your opinions of the gadget.


  1. En ole koskaan kuullutkaan tuosta. Meilla oli yhtena talvena kirkasvalolamppu toissa (ruokapoydan aaressa), mutta en ainakaan huomannut mitaan suurta eroa. Eipa se kaytto tietenkaan ollutkaan kuin alle puoli tuntia paivassa. Mua yleensa vasytti joulu-helmikuussa, ehka jonkun parin kuukauden ajan. Taalla se on vahan erilaista, kun syksylla on pitempaan ja kevaalla taas paljon aiemmin tosi valoisaa/aurinkoista. Se pimea kausi on lyhyempi. Kaipaan kylla oikeaa talvea, ei oo paljoa lunta (tulee ja menee), lampotila on usein jossain nollan tuntumassa.

    1. Nyt on taas sarastusvalo käytössä aamuisin, Valkeet laitan yleensä korviin työmatkan ajaksi (hoitoaika ei ole kuin 8-12 minuuttia, loistava juttu!) Töissä on heti aamusta kirkasvalolamppu n. puoli tuntia päällä ja kotona illemmalla kirkasvalolamppu on työvalona tietokoneen vieressä. Valon lapsi mä oon... :)