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Do Circadian Rhythms and Insomnia Respond to Light Therapy?

We humans have evolved hugely from the Stone Age to the Modern Age. Nature has laid down certain rules for every living organism existing on the face of earth. Human beings are also monitored by these rules, but we are the only species which tends to go against the laws of Nature to make some of our own. This rebelling nature has contributed to a variety of troubles; both environmental and physical.

Nature has provided a natural clock, which is inbuilt in our bodies. This clock, which is known as the Circadian rhythm corresponds roughly to a 24 hour cycle. The Circadian rhythm is highly important for the normal functioning of our bodies, since it not only co-ordinates various activities according to time, but also regulates the secretion of a variety of hormones. Most of the voluntary movements are suppressed during sleep, while digestion is activated at this time. The Circadian rhythm itself is affected most primarily by the dark light cycle.

Understanding of these facts is important in recognizing the intricate relation between Circadian rhythm and insomnia. Due to the fact that the release of the sleep inducing hormone Melatonin is controlled by the circadian rhythm, any disturbance of this rhythm can lead to disorders in the normal sleep patterns and insomnia.

Importance of exposure to light:

The time on the body clock is set on the external darkness and light cycles. The sunlight or the bright light hits the retina of the eyes and subsequently is transmitted to the body clock, which is positioned within the hypothalamus. Dr. Dan Kripke who is a well-known San Diego-based researcher conducted a research to compare the intensity of sunlight to the light indoors. On studying 150 people and their routine exposure to outdoor light, it was found that in spite of the wonderful weather outside, the maximum exposure to direct sunlight was restricted only to 13 minutes in a day or 100 lux of light intensity. The intensity of sunlight is almost 1000 times more than the intensity of light within a home or an office.

Do we get adequate light exposure?

The majority of our waking hours are spent indoors, either working inside dimly lit offices or at home. If ever we go out in to the sun, we take extreme care to cover our eyes with dark sunglasses, which again limits the intensity of the sunlight reaching the retina and the hypothalamus. Inadequate exposure to light can disrupt the circadian rhythm and subsequently lead to many health disorders. The major impact of this inadequate light exposure is on the sleep and causes Insomnia.

Litebook® Elite for rectifying Circadian rhythm and insomnia

Litebook® Elite is a product from the Litebook Company Ltd, which is a device emitting light. This device should be used preferably as soon as awakening in the morning. It should be used daily for at least 15 to 30 minutes in a day. Excessive exposure can be harmful, so it is best to follow the instructions very carefully. The light can be quite intense, so looking directly at the device should be avoided. The position of the device should be at a distance of 30 – 60 cm away from the face.

Can light therapy rectify the circadian rhythm and insomnia?

The above facts confirm that the Circadian rhythm and insomnia are intensely related, and light therapy can prove to be extremely beneficial in restoring the disordered circadian rhythm. Once the circadian rhythm is restored back to normal, the secretion of melatonin will be regulated, thus solving the problem of insomnia.

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