What is Bright Light Therapy and When is is Useful?

When a person struggles to sleep naturally, one of the causes is their circadian rhythm being disturbed. This is a clock found in each of us that allows our bodies to know when to sleep, and when it is time to be awake. Located within the brain in the nerves along the eyes, the “clock” is a combination of alertness, hormones, and temperature control that all transpire as you sleep. When one or more factors become out of sync bright light therapy may be the answer.

A form of light therapy used to reset the circadian clock

When the clock functions properly, you are asleep at appropriate times, and awake when you do your normal activities. When it is thrown off, bright light therapy can come into play. This is a form of light therapy that is designed to reset the clock and make sure that it gets back on schedule without the use of medications.

At the same time, the stimulation of chemicals in the brain that handles mood and sleep are stimulated so they produce higher levels. Over time, this does allow certain conditions to reduce in severity and significantly improve with the use of bright lights.

Light therapy exposes your eyes to a bright and intense light. This is done for short periods of time and is done in a manner that doesn’t cause any damage to them. Under the observation of a trained doctor, this treatment plan will ensure that the periods slowly guide you to a better night’s sleep. While some online resources suggest just going out in the sun and taking quick glances, this can cause damage to the eyes and most people who need Circadian rhythm adjustments are in areas where sunlight isn’t always available such as Oregon, Washington, or Alaska. Other areas where the sunshine is minimal will also find this is a very beneficial form of treatment.

Bright light therapy also helps for mood disorders

One thing to note is that this form of therapy is one that has professional medical evidence backing it. Places like The Mayo Clinic, Mercola, and others have run information about this form of therapy.

Fortunately, with the proper use of artificial light, experts have managed to devise a method that allows our natural clocks to reset themselves. This allows more people to obtain a good night’s sleep and improve their health at the same time.

Of course, sleep isn’t the only benefit bright light therapy offers. Many doctors have reported improvement in depression, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. Those who have experienced this form of therapy find it is often one that produces exceptional results.

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Latest update: October 18, 2016