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DSPS And Bright Light Therapy | Proximity To The Light Source Also Affects Therapy

Irregular circadian rhythm causes delayed sleep phase syndrome and others similar sleep disorders. DSPS is a sleep disorder most common in young adults and teens, where their sleep episodes get delayed in relation to conventional sleep time. Its treatment is aimed towards re-phasing circadian rhythm to meet with the demands of lifestyle. Such sleep therapies combine external stimulus methods and a sleep hygiene practice. In the category of external therapeutic methods chronotherapy and bright light therapy are common in use. Combined use of both also produces significant results.

PRC And Circadian Rhythm Phase Advancement

Phase Response Curve

PRC (phase response curve) denotes the relationship between a treatment designed to re-phase the circadian rhythms and the time it takes to show its effects. According to human PRC the circadian rhythm phase-advancement takes place if the patient is exposed to bright light at the climax of melatonin rhythm or when core body temperature is at its minimum of the day, usually in the early morning.

Patients May Respond Paradoxically To The Bright Light Treatment

For the treatment of DSPS one can take light therapy in the morning at about 6 to 9 am. They may optionally wear dark glasses from 4 6 p.m. for the best results. Usually 2000 to 2500 lux of bright light is advised but it would be better to consult a sleep expert on the perfect unit you would require for your individual problem. It is also apparent in some patients that they have a minimum temperature at the time of light exposure, so usually they do not respond or response in a diverse manner with a phase-delayed rather than a phase-advanced. Patients who respond paradoxically and in whom core body rhythm gets to minimum when they are exposed to the light therapy, a slight adjustment in the time period for light therapy may be tried.

Take Necessary Precaution With Bright Light Therapy For DSPS

Wear Dark Glasses From 4 P.M.To 6 P.M For The Best Results Of Light Therapy

In a study it has been proved that a 12 days of regular bright light treatment results in improved core body temperature and harmonized sleep pattern. Bright light treatment is also rated better than dim light. The time required for continuing effect is unknown so the length of the therapy differs form patient to patient. It also depends on the tolerance of a body to the therapy. With the light therapy it is also important to take the necessary precautions as this may adversely affect vision or cause hyperactivity and headache in a person. Make sure that the therapeutic light source has a UV filter or if you are taking direct sun light don’t forget to wear dark goggles.

Over Exposure To The Bright Light May Adversely Affect Your Body

The bright light therapy is advantageous not only for DSPS but for other sleep disorders and various skin diseases as well, still on certain times, use of bright light therapy is not advisable. It has been seen that too much exposure to the bright light damages the skin and reduce the percentage of vitamin A and C in the skin. It may also affect the generation of free radical in the body. Patients with manic tendency are also not advised for bright light therapy. Hence, a bright light therapy should be taken under the consultation of a certified medical practitioner.