Bright light therapy may improve nocturnal sleep in mothers

Jun 09, 2008

Bright light therapy may improve a mother’s nocturnal sleep, decrease daytime sleepiness and be beneficial to her well-being, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Shih-Yu Lee, PhD, of Georgia State University, focused on 16 first-time mothers with a low birth weight infant hospitalized in the intensive care unit. The subjects were randomly assigned to two groups: the treatment group mothers received a 10,000 lux blue-green bright light therapy for four weeks and the control group mothers received a placebo dim red light therapy. Total sleep time during the day and night was measured by averaging the data obtained from two consecutive days of wrist actigraphy monitoring.

According to the results, the post-treatment average nocturnal total sleep time increased from 383 minutes (6.38 hours) at the baseline to 424 minutes (7.07 hours) for the treatment group mothers. However, the total sleep time in the control group mothers worsened from 413 minutes (6.88 hours) to 373 minutes (6.22 hours). After the four-week intervention, the treatment group mothers’ daytime total sleep time decreased from 114 to 39 minutes.

“Having a low birth weight infant in the ICU can intensify sleep disturbances for mothers because of extended periods of exposure to the artificial dim light in the ICU and stress related to the infant’s medical condition,” said Dr. Lee. “Impaired sleep may have negative impact on the mother’s well-being. In our research, we were looking for an intervention to help mothers that would be feasible for them to use even when their infant is hospitalized. The preliminary findings from our pilot study indicate that bright light therapy given through use of the special visor may improve mothers’ nocturnal sleep, decrease daytime sleepiness, and be beneficial to their well-being. While our results are promising, a larger scale randomized clinical trial is needed to establish if this would be an effective therapy in this population.”

Sleep plays a vital role in promoting a woman’s health and well being. Getting the required amount of sleep is likely to enhance a woman’s overall quality of life. Yet, women face many potential barriers – such as life events, depression, illness, bad sleep habits and medication use – that can disrupt and disturb her sleep. Overcoming these challenges can help her enjoy the daily benefits of feeling alert and well rested.

It is recommended that women get between seven and eight hours of nightly sleep.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore further: US chicken giant Tyson to cut antibiotics by 2017

Related Stories

Nepal quake: Nearly 1,400 dead, Everest shaken (Update)

Apr 25, 2015

Tens of thousands of people were spending the night in the open under a chilly and thunderous sky after a powerful earthquake devastated Nepal on Saturday, killing nearly 1,400, collapsing modern houses and ...

Probing question: Can games be more than child's play?

Oct 23, 2012

Remember backyard games of Red Rover, Mother May I, and Red Light Green Light? How about playing Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders? Games like these figure into the pleasant childhood memories of many, but can ...

TV's double vision, when 1 screen isn't enough

May 04, 2012

(AP) -- As a kid, I dreamed of having a telephone that was plugged into my family's TV and would let me ring up whoever I was watching. With this special phone, I could reach my favorite TV stars, introduce myself and talk ...

A boom in smarter baby monitors

Feb 03, 2012

The cry has been heard: After 20 years with little change to baby monitoring devices, new designs premiered in January at the Consumer Electronics Show promising Wi-Fi connectivity and high-definition video that streams live ...

Recommended for you

Game shows mosquito's-eye view of malaria

Apr 24, 2015

A new game about the life cycle of malaria that can be played on Android smartphones has been created by an Oxford University developer, based on malaria research at the University's Nuffield Department of ...

DMV program can generate additional organ donors

Apr 23, 2015

(HealthDay)—A brief, web-based training program for department of motor vehicles (DMV) employees that educates them about organ and tissue donation can increase the likelihood of customers registering as ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.