Category Archives: Sleep News

Light Therapy Effective at Managing Night Eating Syndrome (NES)

Night Eating Syndrome (NES) is a disorder in which an individual consumes over 25% of their daily caloric intake after their evening meal, particularly after awakening in the middle of the night. A new pilot study, treated 15 otherwise healthy adults who suffered from Night Eating

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Sphere 10,000 Lux Light Therapy Lamp

Syndrome with bright light therapy as a means of curtailing nighttime awakenings and aberrant eating behavior.

The study exposed the subjects to 60 minutes of 10,000 lux light therapy lamps each morning for a period of 2 weeks. This bright light therapy schedule is already a common treatment for a variety of circadian disorders, particularly Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Delayed Sleep

Phase Syndrome. At the end of the trial, “significant reductions were found pre-to-post treatment in night eating symptomatology, mood disturbance, and sleep disturbance.”

The researchers note that, in addition to improvements in nighttime eating behavior, “statistically significant improvements were also noted for morning mood, morning anxiety, and evening anxiety ratings  from pre-to-post treatment.”

Though the pilot study was too small to reach a definitive conclusion, it does provide “preliminary support for the efficacy of [Bright Light Therapy] for the treatment of night eating syndrome.”

Read reviews of 10,000 lux light therapy lamps here.

 

Source:

McCune, Ashley M. and Jennifer D. Lundgren, “Bright light therapy for the treatment of night eating syndrome: A pilot study.” Psychiatry Research, Volume 229, Issues 1–2, 30 September 2015, Pages 577-579.

Treating Elderly Sleep Disorders with Bright Light Therapy

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Philips Dawn Simulator Lamp

Americans aged 65 and over have higher rates of chronic insomnia and poorer sleep quality than any other age demographic—with as many as 50% of elder individuals reporting sleep disorders. The most common sleep disorders among the elderly include “sleeping early, waking up early, a decrease in sleep duration, taking longer to fall asleep, frequently waking up at night, and sleeping in the daytime” (Akyar & Akdemir 2014). Many of these the problems results from our bodies’ decreased production of the sleep hormone melatonin as we age.

This natural decline in melatonin is often exacerbated by the sedentary, indoor lifestyles of many elderly individuals, factors that further contribute to circadian disturbances. Circadian sleep patterns are primarily regulated by exposure to bright light in the morning and the recession of light in the evening. However, many elderly individuals live in care facilities with unnaturally constant lighting throughout the day and evening. Many studies have suggested morning application of bright light therapy as a means of regulating the sleep patterns of those in elder care facilities.

A new study published in the Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing concludes that bright light therapy is a safe and effective means of improving sleep quality of elder individuals in nursing homes. In the study, twenty-four older adults who reported poor sleep quality were treated with a 10,000 lux light therapy lamp Review for a half hour each morning over the period of one month.

At the end of the study, global sleep quality scores (as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality

SAD Light for Light Therapy

10,000 Lux Light Therapy Lamp

Index) were found to be significantly higher than the pre-intervention scores. The scores for ‘daytime dysfunction’ and ‘sleep latency’ (time to fall asleep) saw the most improvement from the light therapy intervention.

The study concludes: “light therapy has, after continuous four-week half-hour 10,000 Lux interventions and at a four-week follow-up, an impact on the global sleep quality and its subcomponents, in particular the participants’ ‘daytime dysfunction’ and ‘sleep latency’ subcomponents. Also, those effects are beneficial and recommended for seniors, females, and those with diseases.” Most significantly, these global benefits to the sleep and well-being of elderly patients remained in effect up to one month after the end of the formal treatment.

Read reviews of 10,000 lux light therapy lamps here and reviews of dawn simulation lamps here.

 

Sources:

Akyar, I., & Akdemir, N. (2014). The effect of light therapy on the sleep quality of the elderly: An intervention study. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing (Online), 31(2), 31-38.

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Is Your Cell Phone or Laptop Screen Keeping You Awake?

Cell Phone With Blue Light

Blue Light Can Cause Insomnia

A 2010 study confirmed that blue light in the evening, especially from cell phones and computer screens, mimics the wakefulness-inducing effects of sunlight, Our widespread use of blue-wavelength light is likely a major factor in both chronic and acute insomnia. Compare modernized societies like the United states, which suffer from insomnia rates as high as 44%, to existing hunter gatherer societies, which suffer from insomnia rates as low as 8%. Science suggests that this disparity is largely caused by nighttime use of electronics.

SAD Light for Light Therapy (Phototherapy) Review

White SAD Light

The solution to much insomnia and some mood disorders is to simply emulate the hunter-gather exposure to light. First thing in the morning, get outside in the sunlight or use a light therapy lamp that emulates sunlight. Bright light in the morning can shift your sleep schedule up to 90 minutes! Read our reviews of white light therapy lamps here. Once the sun has set for the day, try to limit your exposure to blue frequency lights like laptops and cell phone screens. Consider purchasing an amber lamp or amber book light and spend the last half hour of the night reading quietly. Amber light in the evening has been proven to shift sleep schedules an average of 1 hour earlier! If an amber lamp isn’t feasible, studies show that amber night shift glasses, which block sleep-disrupting blue wavelengths, are also effective at preventing insomnia.

Our regulation of the sleep hormone melatonin and the mood neurotransmitter serotonin are largely regulated by our exposure to light. Studies demonstrate that careful regulation of light—getting plenty of bright blue-wavelength light early morning and afternoon and limiting your nighttime light to red-frequency light—may also help alleviate some forms of depression, particularly those like Seasonal Affective Disorders or SAD that result directly from seasonal light variation.

In short, pay more attention to your early morning and late evening light exposure to sleep better and be happier!