Light Box Therapy for sleep disorders

snerfuStarred Page By snerfu, 19th Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Wellness

Light box is used to treat people suffering from circadian rhythm disorder and those having inhibitions to darkness. Our body is adjusted to normal timing of day and night. When something changes this rhythm, one tends to suffer from sleep disorders.

Day night rhythm

If you suffer from morning sickness or insomnia, you suffer from circadian rhythm disorder. Our body clock follows a night – day cycle according to the light we see at that time of the day. So, when it is morning, we need to see some bright light to wake up. When the sunlight disappears, we begin to feel sleepy. These sleep disorders are only related to light variation. Also people who fear darkness need light to sleep. Here we study how to make use of the light box to correct sleep disorders.

Classifying various kinds of sleep disorders

a) Work related
i. Changes in shift: People working in shifts will experience sleep disorders because they have to stick to shifts. Shift hours are different from normal duty hours. Their body clock will take time to adjust to this change. Until they do adjust, they will experience sleep disorder. This occurs mainly due to light variation in normal duty and shift hours.
ii. Overtime: When people put in overtime, their body undergoes changes in rate of metabolism. They have to produce more energy than normally what they produce. This stress manifests as sleep disorder. Even this relates to light intensity variation almost linearly.
iii. Keeping odd hours: Similarly working or staying up late at night will make the body clock to lose its rhythm. It will cause sever disturbance on days that follow and mostly is affected by light.

b) Physical stress related

i. Too much of work: Working too much can bring about stress, which will make one to lose sleep. Even though there is no light at play here, the strain will make the person more sensitive to light.
ii. Jet lag: This is an experience common enough for many people who travel extensively. Once you are experiencing jet lag, your metabolism shuts down and tries to overcome increased activity resulting from a lack of orientation. Your eyes will become sensitive to slightest disturbance and you try to sleep in a dark and peaceful atmosphere.

c) Season related

i. Winter time sleepiness: This comes by every year. Winter there is decreased amount of sunshine and mornings come much later. This makes one to sleep more.
ii. Too much heat in summer causes lack of sleep: Summer is the opposite with body losing much water from dehydration. Energy produced by the body is less and this causes the person to sleep more.

d) Metabolic activity related

i. Early riser syndrome: Metabolism gets triggered much earlier than it should and wakes the person up early. They tend to go to sleep earlier too.
ii. Tired to awake: When the person has sickness or poor metabolic activity then he or she will not have enough energy to go through the day. They tend to take rests more often and sleep in the afternoons.

Light box construction

Light box has a light source fixed within an enclosure so that you can modulate the intensity of light emitted. Normal intensity of light emitted will be 10, 000 lux. This soft white light helps to correct abnormality in sleeping—awakening patterns using light and so people refer to it as phototherapy.

Adjusting light box to your metabolic rate

This takes place through trial and error method. First they will find out the switching on time and switch off time for the light box over the course of a week. Once they know the correct time, then they change the intensity of light in the light box until the person sleeps fully and comfortably. Physician may suggest variations to the daily diet if needed.

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Tags

Light, Light Box, Sleep, Sleep Disorder

Meet the author

author avatar snerfu
Bachelor, Christian, 53, settled in Madurai, India, like to watch football and tennis on TV. I also have occasional walks but try to read the Bible daily. For amusement, I read the newspaper.

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
20th Jun 2014 (#)

Awesome post, cheers!

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author avatar snerfu
21st Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks Fern Cheers

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