The light room

Do you get lethargic and tired in the autumn and winter? We often suffer from winter fatigue in the northern hemisphere. In the light room at the Student Health Service in Uppsala, you can compensate for some of your daylight deficiency during the dark months.

The light room closes for the spring semester on March 27.

Student health services light room.

How does a light room work?

The change between light and darkness sets the circadian rhythm, which in turn is connected to important biological processes such as rest, activity, sleep and wakefulness. Somewhat simplified, when the days get shorter our bodies want more sleep. The idea with a light room is to compensate for insufficient light during the day.

The effect of artificial light is not scientifically proved, but many feel relaxed and refreshed in the bright environment. More regular visitors can experience better sleep, improved mood and more energy, as well as becoming more sociable and active. The reading light is fantastic, so why not take the opportunity to use the time in the light room to study or immerse yourself in a good book.

The room has light-coloured walls, floors, ceilings and furniture. The light used in the light room comes from fluorescent lamps with a high colour temperature and good spectral distribution, so-called daylight fluorescent lights or full spectrum fluorescent lights.

The light affects the secretion of melatonin, the brain's "sleeping agent". Melatonin is produced when we are in darkness, but production is interrupted when the eyes are exposed to sunlight. Many feel more energetic after a few visits.

The light room should not be considered a form of therapy – the experience is subjective and it’s up to you to decide if it makes you feel good.

Visiting the light room

The light room is open during the dark months during the reception's regular opening hours. You can't make an appointment, it is only drop-in at the places. Go to the reception, show your student ID and enjoy the light. The light room is open only for students.

Turn up in your regular clothes. You will be provided with a white coat which helps to keep the room as bright as possible.

  • Remove shoes before entering the room.
  • Do not eat or drink in the light room.
  • Each session is 45 minutes.

There are eight seats in the room and a visit in the room is for free.

Questions and answers about the light room

How bright is the light?

It is between 2,500 and 4,000 lux, which is about ten times more than the light in an office, or like a slightly cloudy summer's day. When the sun shines it is at least 75,000 lux. During winter, the brightness of the light is often under 800 lux.

Will I become tanned?

No. The light does not contain any UV light.

Do I need sunglasses?

No. The point of the light room is that you will be exposed to the light. Sunglasses or closing your eyes lessens the effect the light room has. The light room is designed in such a way that you will be exposed to enough light without becoming blinded.

How often should I go?

Light affects people in different ways. You determine yourself how often you should go. Many go once a week whilst others need more light and go every day during a two week period.

What time of the day is best to go?

Day time is best, the time when it is usually light outside.

What should I do in the light room?

Sit quietly, meditate, listen to music, read a book, study or talk to a friend.