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Any experience with bright light therapy?


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Hi all!

Just wondered if any of you had tried or looked into bright light therapy? A doctor I know asked me to research it to see if I thought it might be useful for those of us having trouble sleeping.

I've read up on it a little (http://www.cet.org/default.htm?pids.htm~main has a good explanation), but wondered if any of you have given it a try? Any results you'd be willing to share, positive or otherwise? Thanks for the input!

Angela :)

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Hi Angela!

I don't know anything about this therapy...but the fact that I am typing this at 1 am makes it sound intriguing to me...as I can never sleep! I hate it!

I would like to hear more and also will you keep us posted on it, whether you decide to do it, etc?

Thanks! And I hope you get some sleep soon too!

I'm sorry you are having a rough time too lately....

Later alligator! Emily

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I use light therapy for my seasonal affective disorder. That means that I get depressed in the fall and winter when we have less sunshine in the midwest. I don't think the light has any effect on my sleep. It definitely helps with my mood. I have a light on my desk at work.

You can order a light from "Northern Lights" company.


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Yes- I was just going to say that, Karyn- I ave used ligghtboxes in the winter, as the north of scotland can get pretty dark--I've had to have a room light on at midday to be able to read! Upside is, in Summer it never gets dark there though!

I'm thinking about trying a lightbox in Oxford too but they're mighty expensive- about $500!

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Thanks for the input everyone!

I'm a bit late in this thank you :D but it's heartfelt all the same. Brain fog & company have been having fun fest lately (took me 4 tries to spell "thanks" correctly -- good start, huh?! :lol::) ).

I'll keep you updated, Em.

Persephone, I'm sending you a PM soon.

Thanks again (got it right in 1 try this time! :):P ),


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Guest Finrussak

[Future applications of bright light therapy may well include any area where a disease or syndrome recurs seasonally, shows winter exacerbation, or plausibly is related to insufficient or ill-timed outdoor light exposure regardless of the season. Examples of active research include light treatment for bulimia nervosa, premenstrual syndrome, behavioral disruptions of Alzheimer's disease including sleep and daytime agitation, correction of discomfort related to shift work and jet lag. ]

The above is directly from the CET website.

Therefore, It MAY help those who experience worse sx during fall/winter. However in my opinion for those of us who are exposed to adequate daylight and arent severely bedridden in very darkened rooms, but still have night/day problems its probably better to try to adjust your rhythm by sleep cycle changes and/or melatonin (with Dr ok that is); or other natural help, like homeoepathics.

What is generally done is that on 5-7 successive days you force yourself to stay up even longer by 3-4 hrs...until you are finally going to bed at a reasonable time as decided by you. what this can look like is:

day 1 go to sleep at 6 AM instead of 3 or 4 am

day 2 " " " 9-10AM

day 3 " " 12-1PM

and so on...its a bit inconvenient for a few days but it really CAN help.

Then if you take melatonin as directed, OR even use a homeopathic like "quietude" before sleep to help readjust the chemical circadian rhythm...it will help aid the process.

We have had to do this for my 16 y.o. twice this past summer and it worked (twice because as a teen once he went back to the stay up late chatting with friends habit he again lapsed)

Hope this helps!!

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I'm not sure I quite understand the sleep time shift, Finette.

Supposing I were falling asleep at 12:45 at night instead of my desired time of 10:30pm. How would the sleep sequencing go? Would I, in the hypothetical case, then stay up until 3:00am, then the next night 6:00am, and so forth, eventually sleeping through the day to reset my rhythm? Sorry to be dense about this, but I haven't quite caught the concept yet. THanks!


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Guest Finrussak

In your case I'd first try to go to bed 30-90 minutes EARLIER each night for a few days...and then ONLY if that not works go to the shift method. Its a bit more inconvenient if your not already up into the "wee hours"...like past 2 AM!!!

But you DO understand it perfectly:

In your case instead of going to sleep at 1 AM

Sunday go to bed at 4 AM- try to rise 8-9 hrs after (even if have to nap later)

rise 12 NOON

Monday go to bed 7 AM, rise 3 PM

Tues go to bed 10AM, rise 6 PM ( this day + next is hardest as it is all day-sleep)

Wed bed at 1 PM, rise 9 PM

Thur bed at 4 PM, rise 12 MIDNITE

Fri bed at 7 PM, rise 3 AM

Sat bed at 10-11 PM ( what will be e regular bedtime)

OR you can take it one more day but by then it usually resets the internal clock...

you said youre Going to bed at 12:45 and if you can rise by 9 am thats doing OK...many of us are up until 4-5 AM and then sleep until 1-2 PM and still need naps!!!

Seems like our sx are better at night and I know for me, once Im feeling less than awful I hate to "waste" it by sleeping...so thats when I DO things..email, knit, crafts etc...ok sometimes even clean a bit. And mornings for some reason are worse...maybe due to the meds we take or our hormonal cycles ( meaning neurohormones not necessarily estrogen)...thats how we fall into the unusual night owl schedules.

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i can't say so much on light therapy, but i try to spend 20 minutes in the sun almost every day. we have a large south facing bay window, so it is really easy for me.

as to "sleep shifting" i do it about once every 3 months. works for me, sosmetimes i go back, sometimes i have to go forward *does that make any sence* whatever.


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