Sleep Myth Monday: Using Your Knees to Reset Your Body Clock

This is the latest installment of a regular feature here at Sleep Myth Monday, where we bust sleep myths wide open, or verify that they’re actually not myths at all.

Myth or Truth:  Research has shown that you can reset your body’s internal clock by shining light on the back of your knees.


Yes, we’re serious. There was a scientific study done in 1998 that showed this odd result. Scientists wanted to find out how light really impacted circadian rhythms. They chose to shine it on the back of the subjects’ knees because it was an area they could expose to light while shielding the subject’s eyes from the light.

Those treated with the light had their biological clocks advanced or delayed up to three hours, enough to overcome the fatigue associated with familiar forms of jet lag or insomnia. Why it works is still unknown. If you want to read more, check out this article from the New York Times.