A lot of people suffer from sleep disorders and insomnia is one of the most common from these problems. This is going to affect your quality of life in general, because your functioning will be affected by the amount of sleep that you have.
For people with insomnia, it is common to end up tossing and turning in bed, spending endless hours figuring out how to finally be able to sleep. According to statistics, one out of three people suffer from insomnia in variety severities. Globally, it is a problem that is affecting millions of individuals.
The prevalence of insomnia has forced experts to discover new ways of treating the condition to possibly lessen the negative effects on people who are affected with such sleep problem. Some solutions worked, while there are some that have been too promising to be true.
Among others, one of the treatments that have gained buzz lately is sleep therapy. For those who have undergone such, they assert that it is not only safe, but it is also effective. Will it work for you? Keep on reading to learn more about light therapy and what it can do to treat insomnia.
1. Causes of Insomnia
Before we proceed on our discussion of how to treat insomnia through light therapy, let us first have a quick look on why there are people who suffer from insomnia. Among others, one of the most common would be stress, as well as anxiety. People who have experienced death of a loved one or a devastating financial situation can find it hard to sleep.
Depression and your sleeping environment can also trigger insomnia. When it comes to medical causes, on the other hand, chronic pain, asthma, arthritis, and sinus allergies can also lead into insomnia. Lastly, your lifestyle can also be a factor. Drinking alcohol and drug use, for instance, can cause sleep problems.
2. What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy is one of the most effective treatment options for people with circadian rhythm sleep disorders. The circadian rhythms are the biological rhythms in your body and they repeat 24 hours. They can make you either sleepy or awake.
For those who have disorders with their circadian rhythms, their sleeping time often overlap with their awake time, and this is where the problem becomes apparent. It affects the internal clock of the body, which is found in the brain. This body clock is set by various factors, including sunlight. With this, the main goal of light therapy is to supplement the natural light that is needed to regulate your body clock, and hence, putting you into sleep.
3. How It Is Done
Using light therapy for the treatment of insomnia is a simple and straightforward process. You simply need to invest in a light therapy box. You will just sit near the box and you will be exposed to the light that emits, which is meant to mimic sunlight.
This is going to lead into the adjustments of your circadian patterns. It is important for the therapy to be consistent and to be properly-timed, which will have an impact on its effectiveness. The good thing about the light box is that it is not restrictive, which means that you can do other things while you are in front of your light box.
4. Is It Effective?
By now, you are most probably wondering if it is effective or not. The answer – yes, it is effective. Many people have tried it in the past and they have nothing but words of praises with regards to this method, reiterating how it allowed them to successfully fight insomnia. In one study that has been completed by Philip Sloane and colleagues, they have concluded that the use of light therapy is effective not only for sleep problems, but also for depressive symptoms.
More so, in the work of Afshin Shirani and Erik St. Louis, they have also explored light therapy and they had the same conclusion that it was effective, another scholastic work that can prove this was the work of Annette van Maanen and colleagues, these are just some of the studies that have proven the positive association between light therapy and sleep.
5. Tips in Buying Light Boxes
The effectiveness of light therapy in the treatment of insomnia will depend on a variety of factors and one of the most critical would be the right choice of light boxes. Consider the reputation of the seller or the manufacturer. Take a look at the reviews that have been shared by other people, making it easier to evaluate the options that will confront you.
Also, if you are on-the-go, such as a person who travels a lot, you should also consider portability. Choosing a light with diffuser is important if you have glare sensitivity. Most importantly, consider the brightness and spectrum of the light box basically because it will be indicative of its effectiveness to induce sleep.