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Shining a light in your ear 'can brighten your mood in winter'

• dailymail.co.uk

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.

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