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Hi Pearl: Ideas for better sleep: Wake up Lamps? Pulsed Light therapy? Aromatherapy? Singulair?
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:44 AM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 380

Hi Pearl,

Bright light therapy helps with sleeping, we need to be exposed to orange-y red light with the sunrise, bright white light at noon, and orange-y-red light at night.

The more natural sunlight your mom is exposed to, the better her circadian rhythms will be. Take her out to see the sunrise, and sunset if you can.

Lights that mimic the colours of a sunrise and a sunset exist, they're called wake-up lights, the more expensive ones also have a sunset function that supposedly helps you fall asleep.


Here is a blurb about it from Phillips

Natural light wakes you gradually

Sunrise Simulation wakes you gradually
Inspired by nature's sunrise, light gradually increases within 30 minutes until your room is filled with bright yellow light. This process of changing an increasing light stimulates your body to wake up naturally. By the time light has filled the room your chosen natural sound completes the wake up experience, leaving you ready for the day ahead.


 In a clinical trial 40Hz pulsed light therapy, Vie light reduced alzheimer symptoms, improved sleep, reduced angry outbursts.

Lane Simonian has suggestions for aromatherapy to improve sleep, LarrytheRunner takes an Asthma drug that has reduced his symptoms remarkably.

Here's a blurb:

Old rat brains rejuvenated and new neurons grown by asthma drug

Life 23 October 2015

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:34 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 380

How sleep, sleepiness, body temperature are inter-related and can be modified with exposure to light . (The blue-white light of tv's, phones and computers will delay falling asleep)


RATIONALE FOR INTERVENTION Circadian rhythms exert a very strong effect on our subjective and objective sleepiness, that is, how sleepy we feel, how quickly we will fall asleep, and the time we wake. In a person with a normally timed circadian rhythm the sleep period occurs between about 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. 

Maximum circadian sleepiness occurs between 1 a.m. to 6 a.m., associated with decreased core body temperature and high melatonin levels (Figure e39.1). 

Wake-up time usually occurs soon after the body temperature begins to rise, that is, about 7 a.m. Figure e39.1 also shows that there are two circadian periods that surround the sleep conducive zone during which sleep may be inhibited: 

the “wake maintenance zone”, in normal sleepers occurs between 6–10 p.m. and a less intense and longer “wake-up zone” which occurs between 8 a.m. and noon.

 Disturbances of the relationship between the circadian rhythm and the preferred sleep-wake pattern can lead to chronic sleeping difficulties. 

If individuals have a delayed (later timed) circadian rhythm their evening wake maintenance zone may be delayed until 1 a.m. 

If they try to sleep at 11 p.m. sleep onset would be delayed. If the individual has to wake in the morning for social or work obligations at their usual time (e.g. 7 a.m.) then total sleep time would be reduced. 

This can develop into chronic sleep onset insomnia. Several nights of reduced sleep will result in daytime impairment and distress. 


This illustrates the circadian rhythms of core body temperature and melatonin for a good sleeper normally sleeping between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. 

This produces a circadian sleepy zone during that sleep period but is bracketed by two alert zones; a wake maintenance zone from about 6–9 p.m. and a wake-up zone from about 8 a.m. to 12 noon. 

If the circadian system becomes delayed in time, the wake maintenance zone will be delayed and can inhibit sleep onset and lead to sleep onset insomnia. 

If the circadian system becomes advanced (timed earlier), the wake-up zone will be advanced and can lead to early morning awakening insomnia. CH039.indd 2 11/11/2010 2:51:25 PM Chapter | e39 

The Use of Bright Light in the Treatment of Insomnia e3 Conversely, some individuals may have an early timed or phase advanced circadian rhythm that would result in their “wake-up zone” occurring as early as 3 a.m., thus curtailing sleep earlier than desired. 

This too can lead to a reduced total sleep time and daytime impairment and the development of chronic morning awakening insomnia. 

 Studies over the past 20 years have shown that appropriately timed bright light can change the timing of the circadian rhythm. For example, morning bright light will change the phase of the circadian rhythm to an earlier time. 

Therefore this could be a suitable therapy for those individuals with sleep onset insomnia who are having difficulty falling asleep until quite late (e.g. midnight or later). With an earlier timed circadian rhythm, they may be able to fall asleep and wake earlier following a regime of morning light therapy. 

 Bright light administered in the evening has been shown to delay the circadian rhythm. 

Therefore, using a regime of evening bright light therapy, individuals experiencing early morning awakening insomnia may be able to delay their sleep/wake cycle resulting in a later wake up time. Overall total sleep time would increase and daytime functioning would improve.

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:41 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 380

 2017 Aug;91:105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.03.004. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Correcting delayed circadian phase with bright light therapy predicts improvement in ADHD symptoms: A pilot study.



Conditions it's used for

Light therapy is used as a treatment for several conditions, including:

  • SAD
  • Types of depression that don't occur seasonally
  • Jet lag
  • Sleep disorders
  • Adjusting to a nighttime work schedule
  • Dementia

Light therapy used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis is different from the type of light therapy used for the conditions listed above. Light therapy for skin disorders uses a lamp that emits ultraviolet (UV) light. This type of light should be filtered out in light therapy boxes used for SAD and other conditions because it can damage your eyes and skin.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic****************************************************************************************************************

When to use caution

It's best to be under the care of a health professional while using light box therapy. It's always a good idea to talk to a doctor before starting light therapy, but it's especially important if:

  • You have a condition that makes your skin especially sensitive to light, such as systemic lupus erythematosus
  • You take medications that increase your sensitivity to sunlight, such as certain antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or the herbal supplement St. John's Wort
  • You have an eye condition that makes your eyes vulnerable to light damage

Illuminating Rationale and Uses for Light Therapy

Afshin Shirani, M.D.1 and Erik K. St. Louis, M.D.2



Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:43 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 380

Circadian Rhythm and Core Body Temperature Image 

File Attachment(s):
Circadian Rythym and Core Body temperature w highlighting.JPG (69760 bytes)

Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 9:58 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5107

I am just starting to learn about the value of light therapy, so I appreciate all the information you are posting HowDoYouDeal.

In regards to aromatherapy for sleep, some of the best essential oils to use are lavender, sweet orange, rose, lemon balm, and patchouli.  A diffuser or putting the oil on a cotton ball should work fine (be careful, though, as some of the essential oils might lead behind stains).  Also, mixing certain essential oils can lead to an unpleasant smell.

There are just a few studies suggesting aromatherapy can help with night-time sleep, including these two.

Effects of Inhalation Aromatherapy on Symptoms of Sleep Disturbance in the Elderly with Dementia

This study investigated the effects of inhalation aromatherapy on sleep disturbance in elderly individuals with dementia. In 19 subjects, normal sleep was observed for a 20-day control period, inhalation aromatherapy was then applied for a 20-day intervention period, and the control and intervention periods were compared. During the intervention period, essential oils were placed nightly on towels around the subjects' pillows. The measured sleep conditions were sleep latency, total sleep time, sleep efficacy, duration of the longest sustained sleep period, wake time after sleep onset, early morning awakening, total daytime sleep, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Total sleep time was significantly longer in the intervention period than in the control period (p < 0.05). The duration of the longest sustained sleep period was significantly longer in the intervention period than in the control period (p < 0.05). Early morning awakening in the intervention period was significantly less compared to that in the control period (p < 0.05). Total daytime sleep could not be adequately measured and was omitted from the analysis. No significant differences in other sleep conditions were observed. These results indicated positive effects of inhalation aromatherapy on symptoms of sleep disturbance in elderly individuals with dementia.

Lavender oil linked to sleep benefits for dementia patients

RED WING, Minn. -- Lavender aromatherapy can help people suffering from dementia sleep easier -- that's according to a new study conducted at an assisted living center in Red Wing.

RED WING, Minn. -- Lavender aromatherapy can help people suffering from dementia sleep easier -- that's according to a new study conducted at an assisted living center in Red Wing.

During a week in which residents with memory loss were exposed to lavender essential oil, they experienced an average increase of 42.5 minutes of sleep a night, said Amanda Cagan, a research assistant with the HealthPartners Alzheimer's Research Center.

The results could help pave the way for use of essential oils in memory care facilities as a safe alternative to sleep medication, Cagan said. "It's very exciting."

HealthPartners conducted the six-month study last year in conjunction with the Deer Crest facility in Red Wing and English Rose Suites, a Minnesota-based memory care provider.

A group of 21 Deer Crest residents completed the study, all of whom were experiencing memory loss or dementia, Cagan said.

Each participant went through a weeklong trial in which lavender oil was rubbed onto their neck and shoulders before bed. A diffuser set to automatically shut off after 20 minutes was then used to release lavender into the air while they slept.

To test the results, participants repeated the process with an almond oil placebo, which Cagan said has no particular effect on sleep or behavior.

Cagain said Deer Crest staff also spent a week introducing the procedure to participants by rubbing them with lotion and loading the diffusers with water to get them used to the sound.

"A change in routine for dementia patients can be jolting," Cagan said.

Participation in the study was voluntary and it was conducted with family consent, she added.

A good night's sleep

People with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia tend to have a hard time sleeping or see their condition worsen at night, a phenomenon known as "sundowning," according to the Alzheimer's Association.

As many as 20 percent of Alzheimer's patients experience increased symptoms of confusion and anxiety beginning at dusk, the organization said. The disruption to the sleep cycle can cause additional agitation throughout the day.

There was evidence pointing to lavender having an effect on nighttime behavior in dementia patients, but clinical research on the subject was lacking, Cagan said.

The key to lavender's potency are the hundreds of chemical compounds found in its oil, said Traci Lebens, an independent distributor with Young Living -- a leading provider of therapeutic-grade essential oils.

When inhaled, lavender oil molecules are small enough to bypass natural barriers and enter the pineal and pituitary glands of the brain, quickly impacting emotion, Lebens said.

"And it's so diverse in its uses," Lebens added. Not only has lavender been shown to have a calming effect, but it can be used to treat burns, cuts and other skin conditions as well.

The oil and diffusers used in the study were donated by Young Living, Lebens said.

Care alternatives

The aromatherapy study was inspired by Jayne Clairmont, owner of English Rose Suites, Cagan said.

Clairmont -- who has promoted the use of essential oils in assisted living environments for years -- suggested the idea to Dr. Leah Hanson, co-director of the HealthPartners Center for Memory and Aging.

"They wanted to see if (lavender aromatherapy) had scientific merit," Cagan said.

Deer Crest was chosen as a test venue after staff voiced interest in the study while conducting in-service training with English Rose Suites, Cagan added.

Deer Crest, which houses about 80 residents, is operated by Ebenezer, a faith-based, nonprofit division of Fairview Health Services.

Julie Walton, who took over as Deer Crest executive director in September, said the results of the study were surprising.

A nearly 15-year veteran of the assisted living field, Walton said she heard of essential oils being used to help treat certain behaviors, but never saw a controlled study on lavender aromatherapy for sleeping before now.

Walton said she expects Deer Crest and other assisted living facilities to begin using lavender therapy more regularly following the study, especially as a way to cut down on pharmaceuticals.

"Folks with memory loss issues can be on a lot of medication," Walton said. "So if there are some natural substances out there ... instead of introducing another medication, I think that's something that all types of communities are going to buy into."

Ebenezer offers a number of alternative therapies to help improve residents' mood and mental health, including art and learning programs, Walton said. The Deer Crest location uses pet and music therapy, along with culinary and fine arts classes.

"We're looking outside the box," Walton said.