Light Therapy

Humans have a biological clock known as the circadian rhythm.  This clock facilitates timed bodily functions.  The main process that entrains our body to our circadian rhythm is light and darkness of the 24 hour day.

About circadian rhythms

Circadian rhythms are our body’s natural cycles that control appetite, energy, mood, sleep, libido and reproduction. Almost all of us, at some time during a year fall out of balance and suffer from sleep or mood problems.  Fortunately after decades of research science has found the way to create circadian balance.

Sleep and wakefulness is controlled by a special part of the brain which is separate but part of a section responsible for all biological rhythms.  Biological rhythms are also known as circadian rhythms.  Circadian rhythm means the regular recurrence of biological cycles in 24 hours such as hormone secretion, sleeping etc.

The human body’s circadian rhythm is cued and controlled by the light and darkness of the 24 hour day.  Our working and social life can mistakenly be seen to be a controlling factor, but these are even controlled by the existence of light and darkness.

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About blue light/bright light and the removal of light

The specific band of low wave blue light closely resembles the natural light of a blue summer sky and is known to be mainly responsible for regulating our mood, sleep and energy levels.

The use of this blue light with a low intensity level has important advantages over the traditional white-light treatment:  it allows for smaller, portable light therapy devices that can be used anywhere. Also, the light intensity of the therapy can be reduced to more comfortable levels. Traditional white light boxes for example produce a 10,000 lux bright white light, (an overcast day at midday is approximately 25,000 lux), whereas a device that uses the effective blue light only produces 200 lux.  Lux is the international unit of measure for light.

The advent of low blue light blocking glasses is also a major step in the development of light therapy.  They affectively filter out the low blue light; hence the eyes perceive that it is dark.

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Low Blue Light Glasses

There is now scientific understanding about how low blue light affects the brain via the eyes and it is known how a patient can feel during a circadian misalignment.

If we can administer low blue light then it is reasonable that we can remove it.  If we remove the low blue light the eyes will perceive that darkness has fallen and the processes that occur during the evening will commence.

Sleep Glasses have been clinically proven to filter the low blue light and provide the brain the opportunity to promote melatonin secretion and begin the sleep cycle.

As the low blue light is removed the process of diminishing light acts upon the various regions of the brain, inhibiting and stimulating hormone release to initiate the sleep process.  During the winter months when less light is available the sleep process begins around 6pm as the light begins to fade.  During the summer months there is an abundance of light which can delay the sleep process.   Domestic lighting also plays a part in delaying the sleep process especially with the amount of available light at home including TV’s, computers, iPads etc.  If a patient is photosensitive (light affects their mood and sleep onset schedules) Sleep Glasses may be of benefit.

So why would we use Sleep Glasses? And when would we use Sleep Glasses?

People who would benefit from the Sleep Glasses are shift workers, travellers who cross time zones, late night users of social media, patients experiencing insomnia and patients experiencing DSPS.

By filtering the low blue light from entering our eyes the process of sleep can be initiated and melatonin can be secreted earlier than usual.  Shift workers may use the Sleep Glasses before stepping outside and keep them on before going to bed.  Driving short distances is safe with Sleep Glasses because red and green light is unaffected.

Someone experiencing DSPS needs to advance their sleep period towards a normal time schedule like 11pm – 7am.  In order to achieve this the Sleep Glasses should be worn from 8pm and left on until they are in bed and the lights are off.  Only then can they remove the Sleep Glasses and attempt sleep.  They may find their advancement is only small.  To expect a 2-3 hour delay to be rectified in one night is usually unachievable.

Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronises, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms. It is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.  Jet lag results from rapid long-distance trans meridian (east–west or west–east) travel on a jet plane.  The condition of jet lag may last for several days and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is a fair guideline.  Light therapy or Sleep Glasses may be used for prolific travellers to resynchronize their circadian rhythm.

People using social media are informed of their behaviour but cannot seem to shake the habit.  Using the Sleep Glasses can give them the opportunity to continue the use of social media but may lessen the length of time due to the lack of low blue light being absorbed by the subject. This may see the subject retiring earlier due to excessive tiredness.

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Luminettes

The diodes (LED) emitting the light are full spectrum white, are sent to a holographic visor which focuses the light toward the pupil. This light is then directed, regardless of the direction of view and the position of the head, to the lower part of the retina, a particularly rich area in neuronal receptors involved in the therapeutic action of light.

The separated low wave blue light is what is causing a reaction to alter the circadian rhythm.  The individual can move around and does not have to sit in one particular place.  Another benefit is it can be used in public places like aircraft and it will not disturb others around you. The Luminettes can be recharged using the charging cable provided.