Light Therapy for Delayed Sleep Phase

You may have never heard of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, but there’s a pretty good chance that if you know a few adolescents, you know someone who has it.  Simply put, people with this disorder have a body clock that’s longer than 24 hours.  Because of this, they tend to have trouble going to sleep at the same clock time every night, and they’re difficult to wake in the morning.  As many as 16% of adolescents may have this problem.  CNN is running a story today on how doctors are using light therapy to reset these patients’ body clocks…

The body’s internal clock is set by exposure to light. Artificial light therapy is one way of bringing a too-long rhythm down to a normal 24-hour one. Simply sitting at arm’s length from a specially designed light box for about 30 minutes each morning will pull the body clock into a normal cycle, the circadian rhythm, and, over several months, can reset it.

The cost of the device: about $250. It is able to be used for years.

More information is available in the video below, or at CNN.com.

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