Segments in this Video

Iceland, Deep In The Polar Night: Introduction (01:42)


Iceland's population of 300,000 experiences only a few hours of light a day at the height of winter. Lack of light can produce seasonal affective disorder. Bernard Fontanille meets psychologist Erla Björnsdóttir.

Sleep Hormone (03:20)

Sunlight deprivation triggers an overproduction of melatonin. One in ten Icelanders experience winter depression; learn main symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Thorun describes her experience.

Fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder (03:47)

Thorun combats winter depression by swimming in the sea and soaking in volcanic waters; Fontanille joins her. Thorun reflects on what her life would be like in winter without swimming.

Seasonal Depression (02:01)

For some, seasonal affective syndrome becomes depression. Aldis describes her struggles with lack of light in winter and sleep in the summer, and what she expects working with Björnsdóttir.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (04:25)

Aldis meets with Björnsdóttir on a weekly basis. They review Aldis' diary and discuss her sleep patterns; her diary is typical for many Icelanders. Björnsdóttir gives Aldis a therapeutic lamp.

Traditional Remedy (05:37)

Fontanille visits Bolungarvik where cod liver oil may be the antidote to seasonal depression. He visits a plant and learns how the oil is obtained. Fontanille discusses the importance of vitamin D.

Icelandic Time Change? (02:00)

A debate resounds about whether or not to set clocks ahead one hour in winter to better align with people's circadian rhythm. Björnsdóttir does not agree with staying on summer time.

Singing Reduces Melancholy? (02:20)

Choir participation is popular in Reykjavík. Thorun discusses the benefits.

Credits: Iceland, Deep In The Polar Night—World Medicine (00:22)

Credits: Iceland, Deep In The Polar Night—World Medicine

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Iceland, Deep In The Polar Night—World Medicine

Part of the Series : World Medicine
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $299.85
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Located in close proximity to the Polar Circle, Iceland experiences extreme winters. Cold weather and darkness invade the daily lives of the 300,000 Icelanders, but the rates of Seasonal Affective Disorder are lower than those in the other countries on the same latitudes. Bernard Fontanille travels to the Island of Fire and Ice to understand how its inhabitants adapted to their extreme environment. Remedies include: hydrotherapy, light therapy, social connection, and the consumption of cod liver oil.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL120534

ISBN: 978-1-63521-623-3

Copyright date: ©2014

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.