Not much evidence exists concerning the effects on sleep and mood of transcranial bright light. In this study, 50 students, all with wake-up time 9:00 a.m. or later in weekends/free days, participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled experiment comparing the effects of bright light (n = 27; 8.0 lm) and placebo (n = 23; 0.1 lm). Data collection consisted of sleep assessment, with both sleep diaries and actigraphy. In addition, the Fatigue Severity Scale and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) were administered. Following 1 week of baseline recording, the therapy was initiated, aiming to phase advance the sleep–wake period. The therapy lasted for 2 weeks and consisted of gradually advancing daily light exposure of 12 min’ transcranial bright light. Subjects in the two conditions did not change differently from baseline to post-treatment on any sleep parameters. A significant condition × time interaction was found for one of six subscales (vigor–activity) of the POMS, suggesting a more favorable development from baseline to post-treatment in the placebo compared to the bright light condition. No differences in terms of side-effects were reported between conditions. It is concluded that transcranial bright light, at times where conventional light therapy has phase-advancing properties, did not influence any sleep parameters differently than placebo. Transcranial bright light was associated with a less favorable development from baseline to post-treatment on one mood parameter compared to placebo.
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The authors received 12,000 Euros from Valkee® covering expenses related to the conduct of the present study.
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Pallesen, S., Nødtvedt, Ø., Saxvig, I.W. et al. A new light source (Valkee©) does not alter sleep–wake parameters and does not improve mood in phase delayed subjects. Sleep Biol. Rhythms 14, 97–105 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41105-015-0027-5
- Transcranial bright light
- Sleep–wake rhythm
- Randomized controlled trial