Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blue light special

…Remember those full-spectrum lights people used to pay thousands to sit in front of? (HA’s mother never told her not to end a sentence with a preposition.)

…Well, scientists have decided the blue end of the spectrum works best.

…The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, has been aiming lights at people for years.

…To prevent winter depression and some sleep disorders, apparently blue light is proving to be more effective.

…Alzheimer’s patients, too, sleep through the night better when they are exposed to blue LED (light emitting diodes) light a few hours before bedtime. Alzheimer’s patients can roam at night and because of this, have to be institionalized.

…People sleep better when their body temperature goes down at night. With the Alz patients, apparently the blue light kept it from going down too early in the evening.

…In a rather charming turn of phrase, a scientist at the Center said, “We are blue sky sensitive.”

…But watch the exposure…blue light can damage the eyes and this therapy takes 30 minutes or less a day—about one-fourth the time you’d sit in front of those full-spectrum boxes.

…To get a blue light box, check with your doctor. Some are bogus. Yes, let’s fake out desperate people who can’t sleep. What a world.

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