Canadore’s Light Therapy lounge is open to students at our College Drive Campus (D230) and is open to all Canadore students. The space is open during regular school hours.
As we get into the colder and darker time of the year, it is important to recognize these effects on our bodies and minds. Light therapy is a common way to cope with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The lamps used mimic outdoor light which helps to alter chemicals in the brain that can help to lift your mood.
Canadore students can book a light therapy lamp for loan by visiting their on-campus Student Success Services department.
What is Light Therapy?
- During a light therapy session, sit near the lightbox. In order to be effective, the light must enter your eyes indirectly. The box should be positioned 11–15 inches away from you and tilted downward. Do not look directly into the lightbox. You can still read, use a computer, write, talk on the phone, or eat.
- Light therapy is most effective when it is done early in the morning; however, you can still gain benefits by using light therapy at other times in the day.
- It is recommended to start with short blocks of time, such as 10–15 minutes. You can gradually work up to longer sessions, such as 30–60 minutes.
- Light therapy is most effective when performed consistently. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, light therapy may be recommended daily, 2–3 times per week, or once per week.
What are the risks?
- Light therapy is only one means to treat depression brought upon by seasonal affective disorder. Please consult a mental health professional, or another healthcare provider, if you have concerns.
- Some people report feeling irritable, or euphoric, or being “too high” when using light therapy. People with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) should consult with a therapist or medical provider before using light therapy.
- Do not look directly at the light box. If you have eye problems (e.g., retinal disease, cataracts, or diabetes), or worries about eye damage, please see your medical provider.
- Any student who is currently taking medication that can cause photosensitivity (common examples include tetracycline, erythromycin) should only use the light box with extreme caution.
If you are looking for other resources and tips for getting through the winter, please feel free to connect with your Student Success Navigator.