Tag Archives: light therapy

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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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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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

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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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