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Bright Light Therapy for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Delayed sleep phase syndrome or DSPS is a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder that is characterized by a delay of sleep onset according to the place’s conventional sleeping time. For example, if a place’s conventional sleeping time is 10pm, a person suffering from delayed sleep phase syndrome will get to sleep past 12 midnight. Delayed sleep phase syndrome will not just delay a person’s sleep onset, it can also delay a person’s waking time in the morning. Many people are confused DSPS with insomnia, as a matter of fact, symptoms of delayed sleep phase syndrome do not include any difficulties in staying asleep, unlike in insomnia.

Treatments for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Since the primary problem in delayed sleep phase syndrome is an alteration to the normal cycle of the circadian rhythm, treatments for this circadian rhythm sleep disorder are aimed to reset or bring back to cycle of the circadian rhythm back to normal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle back to normal. There are several therapies, or sleep therapies that can be done to help the circadian rhythm to gradually adjust back to normal to synchronize the circadian rhythm to a person’s lifestyle.

Bright Light Therapy for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Bright Light Therapy for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

It has been proven that a person exposed to bright light early in the morning can help a person wake up early in the morning as well. Bright light can send signals to the brain or to the circadian rhythm that it is already daytime and it is time to wake up. Bright light therapy follows this concept, which exposes a person to bright light, to help in sending signals to the brain to help in regulating the sleep-wake pattern back to normal.

How is Bright Light Therapy Done?

In bright light therapy, artificial light is usually used, especially in places with a winter season. Artificial light is consistently exposed to people early in the morning. Light box is usually used at home to patients receiving bright light therapy. The standard dosage of bright light therapy is at least 5,000 lux of white light. Patient will be asked to sit in a specified distance away from the light box, and he or she will be asked to stay in the specified distance for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour after waking up in the morning. Dosage and time exposure will vary in every person, do not expect to have the same exposure time and dosage with someone you know who is also receiving bright light therapy.