Sunshine, Made to Order

By: Niki Stojnic | Posted January 11, 2014

With grayer days back upon us, keeping sleepy sluggishness and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms at bay is a priority for us in Seattle. Enter Hotwire Coffeehouse’s new Helios Bar, where your latte comes with a dose of sunshine. Owner Lora Swift set up light therapy panels at the café’s computer counter and dubbed it the Helios Bar, inspired by a bar in Portland. A drink purchase entitles customers to 15 minutes of glow next to the panels, which Swift says can be enough to give a mood boost—and without problematic UV rays. Seasonal depression is bigger issue in cloudy northern locales like the Pacific Northwest than other areas of the U.S., and light boxes work by helping to regulate the body's internal clocks which regulate when and how chemicals like sleep-inducing melatonin are distributed.