Seniors & Sleep

Can't get a good night's rest?

As the body ages, the circadian clock begins to shift back to an earlier schedule, meaning onset of both sleep and waking occur earlier than when younger. Individuals in their 50s and 60s can experience dramatic changes in their sleeping patterns, which can negatively affect their quality of life.

There are multiple factors at play, including the weakening of the circadian rhythms, which control wake/sleep behaviors. Another factor is that most older adults, especially those in their retirement years or who live in nursing homes, receive much less exposure to sunlight on a daily basis than when they were younger and more active. In one study of U.S. nursing homes, patients received only 1.6 minutes of direct exposure to sunlight per day.

 

How do you know if you are light deprived?

Due to the changes in circadian rhythms and insufficient bright light exposure, many seniors may experience:

  • Daytime fatigue

  • Sleep fragmentation - Sleepiness early evening and wakefulness in the middle of the night

  • Interrupted sleep

  • Night wandering

 

How can the 50-plus reset their body clocks?

Clinical studies have shown that as we age, we respond favorably to bright light exposure on a daily basis. Depending on the exact nature of the individual’s sleep difficulties, he or she may benefit from 15-30 minutes of light exposure in the early evening.

 

Usage informations for 50-plus:

  • The Litebook® should be used as part of your normal evening routine: while eating dinner, reading the newspaper, watching TV, etc. This will tell your body that it is still light – and that you still want to be awake and alert – and delay your bedtime until later in the evening.

  • For some individuals, a second dose of bright light at midday gives them an extra boost of energy to make

  • it through the day.

  • The amount of time exposed to bright light is different for every individual.

  • Daily use of The Litebook® can restore your sleep pattern in a few weeks, which for many older adults leads to increased energy and improved mood, and an overall improvement in their quality of life.

  • CAUTION: Bright light exposure is not recommended for individuals with a history of eye disease including, but not limited to macular degeneration, or who have undergone corrective laser eye surgery in the past 30 days. Individuals with any of these conditions are recommended to consult with their ophthalmologist before using The Litebook®.

 

General usage information:

  • The Litebook® should be positioned approximately 20-24 inches from your face, and should be offset at a 30 to 45 degree angle, like sunlight coming in a window.

  • The Litebook's® light beam must be directed at your eyes, and your eyes must be open to achieve benefit.

  • The Litebook’s® light beam is very bright – like the sun – in order to provide the benefit you seek. You do not stare at The Litebook® – as you do not stare at the sun – although it is not harmful to glance at it occasionally.

  • Typically, you will recognize when you've received sufficient light - most often by feeling of heightened alertness, energy, and/or mood.