Shining a Light on Seasonal Affective Disorder for Year-Round Performance with Sami Salomaa

Boomer Anderson
September 4, 2018
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Do dark days affect your energy levels? Is your best harder to achieve when winter comes? The CEO of Light Cognitive, Sami Salomaa reveals how his lights reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and optimize your life by synchronizing your days. Find the show notes here — Decoding Superhuman.com/LightCognitive

In South Africa, I had a room facing into the Indian Ocean. I would wake up early in the morning, with the sunrise. It was excellent. They spoke about the green flash. So, I woke up every morning to see if I could see the green flash. I'm not sure if I ever saw it but the point is something like this burns into your head. You think this is what mornings should be every time.”

Who is Sami Salomaa?

Sami Salomaa is the founder of Light Cognitive, a startup that designs unique lighting solutions dedicated to well-being and performance.

Prior to starting Light Cognitive, Sami worked for eight years at Nokia CFO office in New York. He has extensive experience in building innovative and complex business models at the crossroads of finance and technology.

After returning to Helsinki and Nordic weather conditions he realized how fundamental the role of light is for our holistic well-being, alertness, and recovery. Basing his innovation on physics models he started developing a solution for re-creating natural light in indoor spaces.

Sami is passionate about well-being and how technology can help people feel better and achieve more. His favorite recipe for well-being is a day skiing and a bright Alpine sky.

Sami graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology, with a Master of Science in Technical Physics and Applied Mathematics. He currently resides in Cambridge, UK, and examines the possibilities of AI.

What is the Light Cognitive?

Light Cognitive uses broad spectrum lighting to control when the day starts and when it ends. They solve year round circadian rhythm issue by activating melanopsin at the right times.

Key Highlights of the discussion with Sami Salomaa:

  • Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Circadian biology
  • The benefits of full spectrum light
  • How to get over jet lag
  • How light influences the way plants grow
  • The role Vitamin D plays in overcoming Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Achieving peak performance through better sleep
  • The difference between Light Cognitive products and other offerings
  • The studies of Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Steven Lockley, Ph.D.

Sami’s Pet Peeves about the Medical Industrial Complex:

  • Incenting medical professionals to increase medications and operations for financial rewards.

Sami’s Tip for Enhancing Focus:

  • Shut out the world and get meditative.

Sami Finds Inspiration in:

  • The writings of Nassim Taleb
  • Seneca’s writings

Episode Transcript

Sami Salomaa
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