As the nights get longer, those who suffer from the winter blues will be planning ways to escape to the sunshine.
But there may be a much simpler way of cheering yourself up… simply shining a bright light into your ear canal.
Up to one in four Britons suffer from seasonal affective disorder, with seven per cent of the population having full-blown SAD.
It is caused by the brain not receiving enough daylight which is needed to trigger serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood. Symptoms range from mild lethargy to depression and insomnia, but a cure might be in sight.
Two clinical trials, run by Valkee – who make a device that can shine light into your ear – and the University of Oulu in Finland, have found that carefully targeted light can help prevent the condition.
Juuso Nissilä, Valkee’s co-founder and chief scientist said: ‘We presented earlier that the human brain is sensitive to light.
‘These two clinical trials demonstrate that channeling bright light via ear canal into brain’s photosensitive areas effectively prevents and treats seasonal affective disorder.’