Archives For Insomnia

Light Therapy & Children

When discussing light therapy, children aren’t typically brought up in conversation. It’s easy to assume kids are primarily happy.  Children would seem to have  far less to worry about day-to-day. They can power through just about anything, have endless energy, and they wake up ready for the day. Most of the time….

But kids are sensitive to the world around them, too. In fact, some things may be more difficult for children to deal with because they are not old enough to understand what’s happening. Children can be just as easily affected by the outdoor weather, seasonal changes, jet lag, depression, and skin conditions. Light therapy is equally as important and ground breaking to children as it is to adults.

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that occurs in the fall and winter months as the days become shorter and the nights become longer. When this seasonal change occurs it’s hard to keep our body’s internal clocks or circadian rhythms in check. The change typically results in decreased moods, low energy levels, trouble sleeping, and more. The depression begins to subside in the spring when the days start to become longer again. Anti-depressants prescribed for depression are dangerous for children and not recommended. This is where light therapy comes into play. Drug-free, harm-free, all natural treatment sessions can raise children’s energy levels when they need it the most.

Color light therapy has a wide array of benefits for children as well. This form of light therapy shines different colored lights into children’s eyes to stimulate the brain and enhance it’s functions. Unlike light boxes used for SAD and similar conditions, colored light therapy is medically supervised. Doctors guide their patients through a series of therapies involving many different colors of light. This form of therapy has been proven successful in treating many different conditions and disorders from allergies, to vision improvements, to speech problems, and more.

Growing Up Easier is a website dedicated to helping parents and guardians raise their children in the best way possible. John Downing, PhD, a contributor to the website, wrote a piece about light therapy for children and youth. In his piece, he lists all of the ways that light therapy has helped children:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arithmetic difficulties
  • Arthritis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Hyperactive Disorder
  • Autism
  • Balance problems
  • Behavioral problems
  • Borderline personality structure
  • Brain damage
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Conduct disorder problems
  • Coordination
  • Depression
  • Developmental retardation
  • Digestion problems
  • Disorganization
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning differences
  • Learning disabilities
  • Rage
  • Reading difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Short term memory deficiency
  • Speech problems
  • Stress
  • Wandering eye problems

(GrowingUpEasier.org)

Downing also explains how light therapy can directly affect a child’s lifestyle and well-being in five different categories. Downing has been researching light therapy in children for some time and strongly believes in the treatment’s powerful effects. The website reads…

Body: Light Therapy eliminates physical problems such as fatigue, insomnia, hyperactivity, poor coordination, balance difficulties, autonomic and endocrine imbalances.

Spirit: Light Therapy gives the soul back its light and helps the spirit soar. It takes the innate energy of the child or youth, which the mind sends out into the world, and grounds it more deeply into the soul. It allows the child or youth to control their energy instead of the energy controlling the child.

Mind: Intellectual difficulties are lessened; including poor reading comprehension, pronunciation, concentration, memory, organizational ability, and mathematical ability.

Emotions: Emotional problems are reduced or eliminated; including low self-esteem, depression, fears and anxieties, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Social: When the body, mind and emotions of a child are functioning optimally and the spirit is soaring, social interactions will be appropriately smooth and rewarding.

(GrowingUpEasier.org)

Light therapy is safe for children and is a wonderful and effective alternative to medication. If your child or someone you know is struggling with any of the disorders or conditions discussed, light therapy might be a good option. Give it a shot!

Light Therapy & Veterans

 

Veterans struggle more than most people understand. Life after war is a never ending battle. From depression, to sleep disorders, to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to chronic pain, the war is never truly over. All of these conditions can result in a lack of sleep and insomnia, the last thing a suffering veteran needs. However, new help is being found with light therapy. Light therapy is enabling veterans to get the daily sleep they need in order to remain healthy.

Nearly half of returning veterans suffer from chronic pain. Veterans are four times as likely to develop sleep disorders. 19% of veterans have traumatic brain injuries. 31% of veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and 50% of veterans with PTSD do not seek treatment.

These statistics are sad, but true. For decades, doctors have been treating these suffering veterans with medications. But new studies are regularly surfacing whichshows that light therapy, an all natural, drug free, harm-free treatment, can help veterans.

Our world has 24-hour days. For humans, the sun rises, our days begin, the sun sets, our days come to an end. But depending on where you’re located in our world, sometimes it’s difficult for our bodies to understand this schedule, known as our circadian rhythm, our bodies’ natural clock. Our circadian rhythm helps control the release of Melatonin to our brains. Melatonin is essential for a good night’s sleep but difficult to power through if released at a time other than bedtime. This is when we need Serotonin.

King 5 News in Washington recently covered a story on Lisa Smith, a war veteran who has been dealing with sleepless nights for nearly 30 years. Smith claims that she can fall asleep for about 15 minutes each night. She falls into a deep sleep but is woken up after 15 minutes and the rest of the night is spent tossing and turning. Smith explains that this all began when her tour of duty came to an end. While her duty was over, her body’s internal military clock wasn’t. Smith explained to King 5 News, “I’m still getting up early in the morning, 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning, getting ready as if I’m going to stand in the 6 o’clock formation.” She also developed back pain due to her sleep disorder which is making everything even more difficult.

Smith is currently undergoing light therapy treatments and not only is she sleeping through the night, her chronic pain has also subsided. Smith, along with other patients who are part of a study at Rush University, are spending about an hour a day in front of a light box. This form of light therapy is UV free and drug free, a healthy alternative to sleeping medicine. As soon as Smith wakes up and sits in front of her light box. She reads the paper, eats her breakfast, talks on the phone.

Spending an hour a day in front of a light box helps keep our bodies’ circadian rhythms in check. The light box mimics the outdoor sunlight, creating a sunny day no matter where you are, regardless of the weather or time. When it’s time for bed, Smith says that her body is tired and ready to sleep. She recalls memories of being a little kid and crashing into her bed after a long day outdoors playing with friends. She says the light box creates a very similar feeling.

Light therapy is constantly surprising the world and consistently making it a better place. This medication free treatment is changing the world for veterans. Isn’t it time for you to get on board?