Flinders tech banishes blues on Canada’s gloomiest day

Re-Timer light cafe
A cafe customer using Flinders University developed Re-Timer glasses in Toronto this week.

Flinders University developed technology has helped Canadians fight back against the winter blues at a special ‘light therapy’ café featuring Re-Timer glasses in Toronto this week.

The event, to mark “Blue Monday”, which falls on the third Monday in January and is reputed to be the most difficult day of the year for many Canadians, gave patrons at the Brioche Dorée cafe the opportunity to get some free winter ‘sunshine’ courtesy of Re-Timer’s green light therapy.

With research indicating that up to 35 per cent of Canadians complain of having the Winter Blues and 10 to 15 per cent suffer from a mild clinical form of the seasonal depression, the special glasses, created by Flinders University’s Professor Leon Lack, helped mimic outdoor light in a way that has been shown to regulate the body clock and stimulate brain chemicals associated with improved mood.

Steve Lurie, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Asociation’s (CMHA) Toronto Branch, said the approach was an effective way to tackle the effects of Blue Monday.

“Research shows that light therapy can be an effective treatment for the winter blues,” said Mr Lurie. “Regular exposure to bright light, whether by spending more time out of doors, creating brighter light indoors, or using light therapy, has been found to have a positive effect on the emotional state of up to 60 per cent of people.”

Brioche Dorée Manager, Sam Elkis, said the store was happy to be able to help its customers out in any way that it could.

“We are always looking to enhance the café experience for our customers, and this Blue Monday initiative is no exception,” said Mr Elkis.

“We always strive to create a happy, cheerful environment in our café and if light therapy helps lift the spirits of just some of our customers, it’s worth the effort.”

Customer Lynn Forest said using Re-Timer glasses had given her an extra lift on Canada’s gloomiest day.

“I really wasn’t expecting to have free light therapy with my coffee today but it’s been great and I definitely feel like it boosted my mood and energy level,” said Ms Forest.

“I think this product is such a great idea. I love that its portable so you can your dose of light therapy inside a café.

“I hope it helps lots of people who suffer from the winter blues here in Toronto.”

For more information on Re-Timer glasses click here.

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