University Heights, OH (PRWEB) August 30, 2013
The standard treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the winter blues is to expose the eyes to bright light for about a half an hour first thing in the morning. This has been demonstrated to advance the start of the flow of melatonin to an earlier hour. By starting earlier it finishes its flow earlier. Thus solves the problem of too much melatonin in the morning. For some people the idea of sitting in front of a bright light first thing in the morning is unpleasant and simply not practical. There is also concern it might damage the eyes (macular degeneration).
In 2001 (1) it was discovered that the flow of melatonin is controlled primarily by the exposure of the eyes to blue light or the blue rays in ordinary white light. The most modern light boxes, used to treat SAD, use blue light. Exposing the eyes to light in the evening prevents the flow of melatonin from starting. By wearing glasses the block blue light allows the flow to start (2). The average time for melatonin to flow (if the person is in darkness) is 11.4 hours. Putting on glasses at 7 P.M. should allow the flow to be over by 7 A.M. With melatonin gone, you may wake up feeling happy, without need for an alarm clock. Because the glasses only block blue light there is plenty of light to read or carry on normal evening activities. For those who don’t like to wear glasses, light bulbs that don’t produce blue light are available as are filters for iPads, iPhones and flat screen TVs as large as 58” diagonal.
It’s not just humans that benefit from these low blue light products. An email from a customer who bought special light bulbs reported as follows: An unexpected benefit of the low blue lights is my little dog is calm in the evening. He is usually a little hyper, but with the low blue lights he is mellow and cuddly. (Signed) A Retired Nurse
J Neurosci. 2001 Aug 15;21(16):6405-12.
Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans: evidence for a novel circadian photoreceptor.
Brainard GC, Hanifin JP, Greeson JM, Byrne B, Glickman G, Gerner E, Rollag MD.
PLoS One. 2008 Aug 26;3(8):e3055.
Individual differences in the amount and timing of salivary melatonin secretion.
Burgess HJ, Fogg LF.