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Light Therapy

As the days continue to shorten, many people experience changes in their mood (partly) due to lack of sun exposure. As part of UMMS Takes Care, the Office of Student Life and the Lamar Soutter Library have partnered to provide desktop light therapy lamps. The lamps will be available in the library next to the reserve books. We’re starting with a trial of 5 units, free to use without checkout only within the library. We’d only ask that if you use these devices, please fill out the survey linked to the QR code on the lamps. You can also enter your survey here. Your feedback will help gauge interest and expand the program later on. 

Some tips for using the lamps:

Disclaimer: The lamps in the library are not intended to be a medical treatment, and should never replace the advice of a physician 

Most experts recommend using the lamps to replace natural sunlight when the sun would be brightest during the day, around 11AM-1PM. Place the light on your desk shining directly at you, set a timer for 20-30 minutes, and go back to whatever work you were doing. 

Below, please find some academic papers on the efficacy and mechanisms of light therapy and Seasonal Affective Disorder. The conclusions of the literature are encouraging but mixed. Many doctors and patients swear by it. Read about it, try it out, and decide for yourself!

Nussbaumer et al 2019 - Cochrane Systematic Review

Light therapy for preventing seasonal affective disorder

Campbell et al 2017 - Einstein Journal of Biological Medicine

Bright Light Therapy: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Beyond

Tryer et al 2016 - Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

Serotonin transporter binding is reduced in seasonal affective disorder following light therapy