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Pros and Cons of Using Therapeutic Bright Light

Over the years researches have been conducted to find an effective remedy for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). It is a major sleep disorder in which a person is unable to sleep at normal time and wake up quite late as a result. It has been found that administration of bright Light can cure the problem. In humans the desire to sleep is caused by secretion of a hormone called melatonin. It decreases the body temperature which enables you to sleep. In DSPS the secretion of Melatonin and resultant drop in body temperature will not happen before late in the evening, consequently the patient stay awake beyond normal bed time. Bright Light Therapy will synchronize the timing of melatonin secretion with the normal day and night cycle. Let us explore the therapeutic bright light that is used to cure this sleep disorder.

Are Normal Lights a Match to the Therapeutic Bright Light?

Pros and Cons of Using Therapeutic Bright Light 1

The light used for this therapy is quite luminous 10,000 (lux). It is five to twenty times brighter than regular bright lights like celling fixtures or lamps.  Sometimes it has been found that some patients show improvements when exposed to normal light, but in severe cases you will need the specific apparatus to produce light of high luminosity.  Off late LED technology is being used for Bright Light Therapy which has made it more convenient for patients.  Exposure to sun also produces some positive outcome but therapeutic procedure outweighs natural healing. Bright light is administered in the morning hours between 6am and 9am. It would result in drop down in melatonin level and increase in the body temperature. As a result the sleepy tendency in the morning hours will come down. The release of melatonin in the evening hours will increase which will give you sleep at proper time. Thus the circadian rhythm will be reset.

Does the Bright Light Produce Side-Effects?

Pros and Cons of Using Therapeutic Bright Light 2

There are no reports of severe side-effects of Black Light Therapy. There are some mild ones like headaches, irritation in the eyes, or nausea for a few days after you start with. The major change that you will feel is sudden increase in your level of activeness. You may feel restless and irritable.  In case your eye irritation persists you can maintain a longer distance from the light. You can reduce the time period of the therapy per day. If the light feels too glary and disturbing, use tilted light box or wear special lenses. These lenses help to screen out the blue light that causes the glare. The light does not cause any tanning but to be on safe side usage of filters, sun screen lotion or alternate bulbs can be made. Patients with retinal problems or diabetes are not fit for this therapy. Bright Light therapy does not interfere with pregnancy. But it is wise to consult the doctor in such a situation.

Final words on Bright Light Therapy

The light used in this therapy is medicinally approved. It would not produce any side effects if the therapy is approved and supervised by a doctor. Light therapy boxes are also available tin market between price ranges of $360 – $500. Do not try to make such apparatus at home as they may not be able to produce the desired effect and cause heating and electric hazards. I hope this article will be useful for patients of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome who are contemplating about the pros and cons of Black Light Therapy.