Therapeutic Effects

  • Wout van Bommel


Chronotherapy is timing the treatment of a disease (like surgery or medicine administration) relative to the circadian phase of a patient. The reason that chronotherapy often works is that the actual composition of various bodily properties varies with the circadian phase. Light can sometimes be a therapy for a disrupted circadian system. Light therapy, specifically timed exposure to light, is a particular form of chronotherapy. The reason for the circadian disruption may either be the way of living or be connected with a disease. In some cases, light therapy does not cure the disease itself but helps to reduce negative symptoms of the disease. Although a detailed treatment of the subject of clinical light therapy is outside the scope of this book, a short survey is given to give insight into the possibilities of light in this respect. In some cases, specific interior lighting can be applied as light therapy, next to its task of providing proper visual conditions. Light therapy for depressions (seasonal and non-seasonal), sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and eating disorders are dealt with. Irregular light-dark rhythms quite often occur in the patient rooms of hospitals. Specifically designed artificial lighting that supplements daylight entering the patient room can improve the sleep quality and mood of the patient and reduce the length of stay in the hospital. Ongoing research investigates whether lighting as part of a multicomponent approach can help to fight the critical intensive care delirium in hospitals.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wout van Bommel
    • 1
  1. 1.Van Bommel Lighting ConsultantNuenenThe Netherlands

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