Escape ‘winter blues’ by using SAD lamp St. Thomas Newsroom October 29, 2008 Escape ‘winter blues’ by using SAD lamp From the Wellness Center The Wellness Center, in partnership with the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center, has placed a light box – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lamp – in the library as a resource for students, staff and faculty. The lamp is located in the northwest corner of the reference room on the first floor of O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. Students and staff are welcome to use the lamp on a walk-in basis. Before using the SAD lamp, you are asked to read the information on the Mayo Clinic Web site regarding use of this therapy. SAD is often called the "winter blues." During the low-light months of winter, many individuals experience decreased energy. The combination of decreased sunlight and spending significant time in dimly lit offices or classrooms can have a negative impact on one’s mood and sense of well-being. The light-therapy box may assist some individuals in achieving a happier mood and increased energy. It is recommended that you use the lamp for a period of 20 to 30 minutes each day, preferably first thing in the morning. You should be seated at a distance of 13 inches from the lamp, and it should be placed directly in front of you. You do not need to look directly at the light, although it is not harmful to glance up at it periodically. Please note that some medications, such as lithium, melatonin, tetracycline, St. John’s Wort, phenothiazines, hematoporphyrins, acne creams, creams with retinoic acid and chloroquine, can make you very sensitive to light.