Category Archives: blue light

Melatonin, blue light therapy, and bipolar disorder articles

Well, found some more great articles to share on blue light, melatonin and blue blocking:

see some personal stories:

Bipolar Disorder: Good Results With Blue-Blocker Glasses

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 At the Shangri-La Diet forums, Anima writes:
I have been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar II disorder.  I am also a Non-24, a chronic circadian rhythm disorder where one’s body thinks a day is longer than 24 hours. . . .I’ve been using amber safety glasses (around $3 in the hunting section of the sporting goods store) for dark therapy.  I put them on 3 hours before I want to go to sleep.  They block blue light, allowing dark therapy without the dark.  I also wear an eye mask while I sleep.  The glasses make me look like a big weirdo, but they really work.  It’s easier to get to sleep, and they prevent hypomania (the milder form of mania that people with Bipolar II experience) better than any medication I have tried.  It makes sense that almost anyone could benefit from them, because our ancestors were not exposed to blue light after dark

this has some interesting stories, developments of blue light treatment of just the last 4 years!

Check out the entire article, its worth your time.

In a March 2008 paper Figuerio came up with another interesting idea.  She proposed that gas stations and truck stops purposely use blue lighting to wake up drivers and reduce highway accidents.  She suggests that truckers take 30 minute ‘light baths’ during the night to keep alert while driving.  She is currently testing whether illuminating the interiors of truck cabs with blue LED lights is feasible.
It’s not just teenagers who have chronic sleep problems. Old people can have as much trouble sleeping at the correct time of day as teenagers.  Older patients tell me they can’t sleep through the night but must nap during the day.
Russell Foster at Imperial College London pointed out one possible explanation for this in a New Scientist interview,  “In old age, the lens and cornea of the eye start to yellow, which means the eye filters out the blue light needed to set their circadian rhythm.”
Certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, cause a loss of neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the part of the brain that controls the circadian clock and sleep. As a result, the internal clock for those with Alzheimer’s may be off by several hours, leaving them too awake at night.
Thinking that this might be a sort of ‘use it or lose it’ scenario, a Dutch researcher tried stimulating the deteriorating brains of senile rats with light.   Eus van Someren from the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research in Amsterdam exposed old rats that had SCN cell deterioration and sleep disturbances to bright light and found their sleep patterns became healthy and the SCN neurons were reactivated.

Researchers have tried similar approaches with people. Ancoli-Israel et al in the American Journal of Geriatrics, 2002 reported a nursing home experiment.

Seventy-seven residents, average age of 86 were assigned to one of four treatments: evening bright light, morning bright light, daytime sleep restriction, or evening dim red light. In just ten days of treatment,  “… increasing exposure to morning bright light delayed the acrophase of the activity rhythm and made the circadian rhythm more robust.”

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