Bright light therapy may improve sleep and promote recovery in patients with mild TBI

May 31, 2013, American Academy of Sleep Medicine

A new study suggests that bright light therapy may improve sleep, cognition, emotion and brain function following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Results show that six weeks of morning bright light therapy resulted in a marked decrease in subjective daytime sleepiness. This improvement was further associated with improvements in the propensity to fall asleep and nighttime sleep quality. Bright light therapy also affected depressive symptoms.

"Our preliminary data suggests that morning bright light therapy might be helpful to reduce subjective daytime sleepiness and to improve nighttime sleep," said investigator Mareen Weber, PhD, instructor in psychiatry at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Belmont, Mass. "Importantly, the research also shows changes in during a demanding cognitive task, suggesting that bright light treatment might yield changes in brain functioning."

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal SLEEP, and Weber will present the findings Monday, June 3, in Baltimore, Md., at SLEEP 2013, the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

The study group comprised 18 individuals with a documented history of at least one mild TBI and sleep disturbance that either emerged or was aggravated with the most recent injury. Data were gathered using Multiple Sleep Latency Tests (MSLT), actigraphy and sleep diaries, and all participants underwent (MRI) and comprehensive psychiatric and neuropsychological assessments before and after the intervention.

According to the authors, it has been estimated that at least 50 percent of individuals with TBI experience some kind of sleep disturbance at some point following their injury, and sleep has been demonstrated to be essential for and may be important for recovery.

"Improving sleep following mild could prove critical to maximizing recovery from the injury," said Weber. "Furthermore, bright light therapy is easy and minimally invasive, requiring no medication, and has no known serious side effects."

Explore further: Study links diet with daytime sleepiness and alertness in healthy adults

Related Stories

Study links diet with daytime sleepiness and alertness in healthy adults

May 7, 2013
A new study suggests that your level of sleepiness or alertness during the day may be related to the type of food that you eat.

Study shows that insomnia may cause dysfunction in emotional brain circuitry

May 22, 2013
A new study provides neurobiological evidence for dysfunction in the neural circuitry underlying emotion regulation in people with insomnia, which may have implications for the risk relationship between insomnia and depression.

More sleep may decrease the risk of suicide in people with insomnia

May 15, 2013
A new study found a relationship between sleep duration and suicidal thoughts in people with insomnia.

Brain activity in sleep may impact emotional disturbances in children with ADHD

May 29, 2013
Sleep consolidates emotional memories in healthy children but not in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to research published May 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Alexander Prehn-Kristensen ...

Parent and teacher support protects teens from sleep problems and depression

May 22, 2013
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success. However, perceived support and acceptance from parents and teachers appears ...

Study shows that bedtime regularity predicts CPAP compliance

May 7, 2013
A new study suggests that regularity of bedtime prior to initiation of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is an important factor that may influence treatment compliance in adults with obstructive sleep apnea ...

Recommended for you

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.