In the depths of the cold, light-limited days of winters in the northern hemisphere, many Minnesotans are afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD. The Accessibility Resource Center here at MCTC is bringing light to the winter darkness by introducing Therapy Lamps.
SAD is a mood disorder that tends to occur during winter months due to a number of factors, some of which are hypothesized to be evolutional. In days past, the winter was a time when food was scarce, and low mood could play a key role in preserving caloric usage.
It is also thought that SAD is linked to circadian rhythm interruptions, as the pineal gland plays a key role in regulating the amount of sleep your body is compelled to undertake. Less light entering the eye throughout the day can send your internal clock out of whack.
the Accessibility Resource Center, or ARC, here at MCTC is taking steps to provide tools to students and faculty as we trudge through the literal and metaphorical roadblocks to success- mainly through feeling energetic and focused. The ARC is located on the second floor of the Technical building, tucked away behind the Dunn Brothers cafe and left of Student Services.
An easy, relatively affordable solution to the effects of SAD areTherapy Lamps. Currently, there are two on campus for student and faculty use, with one located in the library and the other in the ARC.
Aaron Pierson, an accessibility specialist here on campus, was a part of the effort to bring Therapy Lamps to MCTC. “We’re always looking to incorporate new things for people on campus,” says Pierson. “All the research says that we’re not meant to exist in so much dark.”
The lamp simulates the amount of light that is optimal for the body’s circadian rhythm to more properly function.
To get the fully intended effect of the lamp, it is suggested to use it once a day, preferably in the morning. Simply sit with the lamp on, in your peripheral vision, and relax for 15 to 30 minutes.