I’ve mentioned this in passing a few times on the site — the exposure length and timing of the bright light therapy I use to control carb cravings, insomnia, low mood, and zombie brain changes over the years. I used to need it only from October to April, for 30 minutes, and it wouldn’t work after 9 am. Then I switched to 60 minutes for quite a while, until it started to make me antsy. Now I’m down to 20 minutes, it won’t work after 7:15 am, and I seem to need it all year. I consider this further proof that some chicks are not meant to live further north than a palm tree.
Here are a few references I’ve used to figure out timing and “dosage.”
- Chronotherapeutics for Affective Disorders: A Clinician’s Manual for Light and Wake Therapy
- Circadian rhythm questionnaire by Philips, a light therapy device manufacturer
- Light therapy online info guide
Other interesting info:
- Light therapy has different effects on younger and older eyes (New York Times article)
- According to this light therapy retail website, “Some drugs make patients photosensitive, as can contact lenses, and those patients may need to be conservative when starting light therapy.”
Illustration: Remix by MRhea.