Here are some studies on bright light therapy (you know… like SUNLIGHT):


Light Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia: Past, Present, and Future (2012)

Conclusion: Overview of the research showing how bright light therapy has been found to be effective for improving behavior and quality of life in elderly people with dementia.


Bright Light Therapy and/or Imipramine for Inpatients with Recurrent Non-Seasonal Depression (2002)

Conclusion: This experiment involving 34 adult in-patients suffering from non-seasonal major depressive order split the patients into three groups to compare the 3-week treatment effectiveness of the following: A) bright light therapy combined with the antidepressant drug imipramine, B) bright light therapy combined with a placebo antidepressant pill, and C) imipramine combined with placebo light therapy. All three groups enjoyed significant improvement, but, AMAZINGLY, just bright light therapy alone (B) was found to be superior to just imipramine (C), as well as the combination of imipramine/bright light (A).


Impact of UVA Exposure on Psychological Parameters and Circulating Serotonin and Melatonin (2002)

Conclusion: This study found that subjects who underwent a UVA irradiation session twice a week for three weeks tested as having higher serotonin levels and lower melatonin levels compared to a control group. The UVA-irradiated group also reported feeling “significantly more balanced, less nervous, more strengthened, and more satisfied with their appearance.” So although you can’t get vitamin D from UVA, this study demonstrates that there are still health benefits of UVA exposure and bright light and that it’s not a bad idea to enjoy a balance of full-spectrum sunlight.


The Effects of Light Therapy on Mini-Mental State Examination Scores in Demented Patients (2001)

Conclusion: Bright light therapy is an effective treatment for improving cognitive performance in people with dementia.


Effects of Bright Light on Cognitive and Sleep–Wake (Circadian) Rhythm Disturbances in Alzheimer-Type Dementia (2000)

Conclusion: This study found bright light therapy to be an effective treatment for improving the circadian rhythm and cognitive performance in elderly dementia patients.


Light Treatment for Nonseasonal Depression: Speed, Efficacy, and Combined Treatment (1998)

Conclusion: Bright light treatment was found to alleviate depression faster than medication.


Bright Light Treatment of Winter Depression: A Placebo-Controlled Trial (1998)

Conclusion: In a randomized control trial experiment involving 96 seasonal affective disorder patients, three weeks of bright light treatment proved to have a significant antidepressant effect.


Morning vs Evening Light Treatment of Patients with Winter Depression (1998)

Conclusion: More natural morning light therapy was found to be more effective as an antidepressant compared to evening light therapy.


A Controlled Study of Light Therapy in Women with Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder (1998)

Conclusion: In a 6-month randomized control trial comparing the effects of 10,000 lx bright light with 500 lx placebo light on women with late luteal phase dysphoric disorder, it was found that bright light therapy (you know, like SUNLIGHT) was effective for significantly reducing PMS symptoms and improving mood.


Randomized, DIM Light Controlled, Crossover Test of Morning Bright Light Therapy for Rest-Activity Rhythm Disorders in Patients with Vascular Dementia and Dementia of Alzheimer’s Type (1998)

Conclusion: This study found that bright light therapy improved sleep and the sleep/wake cycle of elderly dementia patients.


Preliminary Trial of Photic Stimulation for Premenstrual Syndrome (1997)

Conclusion: This study tested the effect four months of daily light therapy sessions on 17 women with severe PMS. At the end of the study 12 of the women (71%) reported not even having PMS symptoms at all anymore and PMS symptoms for the entire group decreased by 76% “with clinically and statistically significant reductions for depression, anxiety, affective lability, irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, food cravings, bloating and breast pain.” The results obtained from light therapy in this study are superior to results from experiments with the SSRI antidepressant fluoxetine.


Sunny Rooms Expedite Recovery From Severe and Refractory Depressions (1996)

Conclusion: A psychiatric clinic noticed over a period of time that their depressed patients staying in the brighter, sunnier hospital rooms recovered faster than patients staying in dully lit rooms. They looked over their records and realized that the depressed patients in sunny rooms stayed 16.9 days, whereas the depressed patients staying in the dully lit rooms stayed 19.5 days. The patients in the sunny rooms were inadvertently receiving bright light therapy, which has been proven to be an effective treatment for depression.


Natural Light Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (1996)

Conclusion: This double-blind study compared the effects after 1 week of a daily 1-hour morning walk outdoors versus a daily half-hour placebo light treatment (only 2800 lux) in seasonal affective disorder patients. The morning walk proved to be effective for regulating melatonin secretion and reducing cortisol, whereas the placebo light treatment did neither.


Suppression of Melatonin Secretion in Some Blind Patients by Exposure to Bright Light (1995)

Conclusion: Blind people need bright light exposure (or sunlight exposure) too, but they’re less likely than other people to go and get it and this can cause problems with their sleep/wake cycle. In this study bright light exposure was found to be helpful for suppressing melatonin in blind people, which is important for waking up your brain up, getting yourself on a good sleep/wake cycle, and reducing insomnia.


Morning Bright Light Therapy for Sleep and Behavior Disorders in Elderly Patients with Dementia (1994)

Conclusion: Morning bright light therapy was shown to be effective for improving sleep and behavior disorders in demented elderly patients.


Bright Light Treatment of Behavioral and Sleep Disturbances in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (1992)

Conclusion: “Evening bright light pulses may ameliorate sleep-wake cycle disturbances in some patients with Alzheimer’s disease.”



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