Posts Tagged ‘blue light therapy’

Blue Light Can Help Your Memory

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Insomnia and sleep disorders are a very real problem with many people, and lack of sleep can inhibit the ability for you to remember, memorize and absorb information. When you are too tired to think your brain is not processing the information you need to be able to work efficiently, and you feel like you are constantly experiencing “brain fog.”

Lead researcher Hans P.A.Van Dongen, PhD, assistant professor of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says, “When people are put through chronic sleep deprivation, there is an initial response where they say, ‘OK, this is not optimal but I’ll manage.’ But after a few days of this, things are much worse than they realize.”

Van Dongen and his colleagues tested 48 young to middle-aged adults on the effect of mild and moderate regular sleep loss. After being sleep deprived, tests were given on different types of thinking and memory. The conclusion was that people with mild and moderate loss reacted similar to those who had been totally deprived of sleep for two consecutive days.  What the researchers learned was that missing just an hour or two on a regular basis can produce devastating results to your body, and your brain.

TV personality and talk show host, Dr. Oz, along with other celebrities, has recommended a product called, NightWave, which produces a blue light that allows you to change your breathing pattern and get a better night’s sleep. How does this work?

NightWave is an all-natural alternative to prescription sleep medications and over the counter sleep aids. There is nothing to ingest, and it is not a habit-forming or addictive device. The battery-operated device projects a soft blue light into a darkened room. The three-foot circle of blue light projected on the ceiling appears and fades over and over again. Your eyes synchronize with your breathing as the soft light becomes slower and slower, until you don’t realize you have gone to sleep and its morning.  The light from the NightWave device does not disturb you like other lights do, and it shuts off on its own.

Clinical psychologists have used relaxation techniques, such as light therapy, for years as a form of behavioral therapy to aid in sleep problems. With blue light therapy you are able to relax your mind as it relaxes your body, allowing you to gently focus on the external cue of the blue light, and taking your mind off the problems you are having getting to sleep.

Mary Ehley of Salem, Oregon, had been having problems sleeping for a long time. When her husband had lost his job and she had to rely on her marketing business to support their family. This was extremely stressful and it made her sleep problems even worse. She was like a “zombie” at work and nothing she did, or any drugs she took to help were of any benefit.

A friend turned her on to NightWave, and the fact that research from Harvard showed that blue light could help “reset the body’s natural rhythm,” so she decided she had nothing to lose.

As Mary lay in bed watching the light appear and dim she realized her breathing was working along with the rhythm of the light, and the next thing she knew she it was morning. After three weeks of using the blue light Mary was more rested than she had felt in years. She has all the energy she needs, and feels incredible.

Melatonin is a hormone produced in your body associated with regulating sleep. It is inhibited by light, and permitted by darkness to produce a reaction in the retina. Light boxes provide artificial illumination to the retina of the eye that helps to regulate timing of your breathing and body clock, and advance in getting a good night’s sleep.

Blue light is considered safe, but it is recommended that people with any type of eye condition or chronic conditions that could affect sight, such as Type 2 diabetes, consult their ophthalmologist before undertaking any form of light therapy. This is because damaged eyes may not have healthy mechanisms in place that protect the eye from bright light—even sunlight from a bright day.

This is Ron White and I am not endorsing any particular product here, but simply using examples of a product and technology that could aid in helping people get a better night’s sleep. Since I am a memory expert, anything that stands in the way of someone being able to process memories is something I am interested in bringing to you.

 

Sources:

Woman’s World Magazine – A Blue Light Ended My Sleepless Nights! 11/27/07 pg. 26

WebMD – Sleep Deprivation Leads To Trouble Fast: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20030314/sleep-deprivation-leads-to-trouble-fast

Wikipedia -  Light Therapy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_therapy

Jigsaw Health – Shedding Light on Blue Light Therapy: http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/blue-light-therapy