Everything to Know About Light Therapy

Light therapy is a treatment designed for the treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Circadian rhythm is what’s commonly known as your internal body clock which is responsible for telling your body when it is time to be awake and asleep.

This body clock is located in the brain and just above the spot in which the nerves are connected to the eyes. This part of the brain is referred to as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). It is then your body clock that is in control of your body’s circadian rhythms, which include alertness, body temperature, as well as the regular cycle of different hormones.

There are many factors that could affect the way your body clock works, among which is your exposure to bright light like sunlight. This explains why light therapy is one known method used for the treatment of people with circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

What Is the Goal of Light Therapy?

For people who have circadian rhythm problems, the goal of this therapy is to integrate a healthy sleep pattern with the internal body clock that is to be set at the most appropriate time. Through this, the person will really get to experience having a good night’s sleep.

Light therapy involves having your eyes exposed to intense yet safe degrees of light for a certain period of time. In case sunlight is not available during the set time for the treatment, artificial light could be used as a replacement. Artificial light can affect the body clock just like how sunlight affects it. With the continuous modernization of technology, more and more product are made to be used for light therapy.

Types of Light Therapy Products

Light Box

Light box is the most widely used tool in light therapy. The box contains a number of tubes which produce very bright light. During the treatment session, you should be within a certain distance from the box, which is typically from 18 to 24 inches. During the treatment, you will not be asked to look straight into the light. All you need to do is face the spot where the box is located.

The newer models of light box are designed to be the safer ones. They are made in such a way that your eyes will be protected from the harmful UV rays. In terms of the frequency of this session that you need, it actually depends on the person’s needs, body, and even the amount of light being used. The key here is to utilize the light at the exact time of day for a certain time frame.

Desk Lamp

A desk lamp can have the same purpose as a light box. The only difference is that the former is designed to be very similar to an ordinary lamp. Furthermore, a desk lamp can blend in much better when it is used in an office environment.

Light Visor

This type of light source is one that you can wear on your head and then can hang on your eyes. This looks a lot like a visor commonly used in tennis.

Dawn Simulator

A dawn simulator is a kind of light that can slowly make a dark room much brighter over a particular time frame. As the name suggests, this machine is used to mimic the sunrise.

Who Uses Light Therapy?

Bright light therapy is perfect for those individuals who are suffering from internal clock disorders. Here are some circadian rhythm disorders that can be cured by light therapy.

Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder — this is an internal clock disorder that causes a person to sleep at night way earlier than normal, and then wake up the following day earlier as well. This condition can be corrected by using the bright light early at night.

Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder — this disorder makes people sleep so much later than normal. The result of this is that the person also wakes up later the following morning. This poor sleep pattern can have a considerable effect on how a person completes his daily activities. Bright light therapy can change this when the treatment is performed in the early hours of the morning.

Free-Running Sleep-Wake Rhythm — this disorder is characterized by falling asleep at varying times every single day. This is very common amongst people who have vision impairment. With light therapy, there is still hope that these individuals may be able to benefit from it despite their inability to see visible light.

Jet Lag — it occurs to people who cross many different time zones during a flight. If you are traveling east, you can use the light therapy in the morning, while evening bright light can help those traveling west.

Shift Work — this is a disorder brought about by a person’s work schedule. This is a difficult problem to address because work schedules can vary, thus leading to changing sleep times as well. In general, light treatment at night should be helpful to those who regularly for long hours throughout the evening.

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Housekeeping

I haven’t been around these parts for some time. Before I dazzle and amaze the world with more half-baked opinion and color, here’s a little summary of what I’ve been up to.

Say hello to one of the world’s first x86 Intel-powered smartphones. My review of the Orange San Diego — essentially a reference design created by Intel as a testbed before it tries to make it big in mobile.

The Optimus L7 surprised me. LG showed a mature, subtle restrained touch in both hardware and UI design that I’ve never seen from the company before. Is it a good phone? No; but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

My LG Optimus 3D Max review will explain my surprise.

Sony Xperia P review. I’m tired of creating a narrative now.

I got way too excited about this real-life Zombie game.

And fell in love with Anna Anthropy’s Dys4ia.

I feel cheap and tacky for spamming links. It won’t happen again — this is as much for me as it is for you.

Do something right, or don’t do it at all

Spotify launched a new feature today: music embeds for your website, blog, or Tumblr. Sounds neat, right? Great to see an embedding service that will see the artists get (some) royalties each time a track is played.

Well…

The only catch, if it’s not completely obvious, is that you’ll need the free Spotify app on your computer or mobile device in order to play music using the new widgets.

Okay, so, I need Spotify installed, and I have to be a member. That’s not ideal.

Spotify thinks of Play as a “remote control” for its apps — a shortcut button that starts playing music inside the Spotify app on your computer as soon as you click it.

So, it’s not an embed. It’s a link that opens up an application, just like the regular Spotify links that have been around for years. The only difference is you now have a pause button within the website, just in case the one inside the application, or on your keyboard, wasn’t convenient enough. This sort of “me too” approach to music embeds will please no one.

Why can’t Spotify just measure the amount of plays each track receives and distribute the royalties accordingly? I understand it wants users to use its application, but this is not the way to go about it.

If you’re not going to do something properly, why bother?

Metro: don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger

Before I begin, let me just say that the images in this article are me roughly representing ideas and concepts — I (debatably) know how to write, not design.

After spending a considerable amount of time with Metro and Windows 8, I’ve grown completely sick of it. The lack of differentiation between apps truly irks me, and I’m growing increasingly concerned with the apparent absence of vision shown in early Windows 8 apps. But Metro is not to blame.

When most people think of Metro, they think of rectangular boxes, Segoe fonts, and not much else. Sure, it looks pretty at first, but after swiping through your 132nd page of rectangles and Segoe, whether you appreciate the design or not, it does lose some of it’s novelty. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Metro, to me at least, is the idea that pages don’t have to be cluttered with buttons, menus, and unnecessary UI flourishes. Metro, to me, can be whatever you want it to be. As some of you may know, I work for Te Verge, and I’m extremely proud of the site’s design / design team for everything they’re doing. With a growing frustration at Windows 8 applications, very little time, and a modicum of InDesign experience, I decided to mock up a Verge app for Windows 8 tablets. Here it is:

Metroverge_560

So, what have I done here? Well, I pulled out elements from different parts of The Verge, and made a map of what a Windows 8 app for The Verge should look like. It’s unmistakably Metro; there are four main ‘pages’ which you swipe through horizontally (on an endless loop). Each page, excluding the first, has infinite vertical scrolling.

First is the front, or ‘welcome’ page, which displays whatever is currently in the colorful boxes on our front page, along with a search function, quick links to the forum, and a user area in the bottom left that would show reply notifications in one of our orange icons. The upper portion, which contains the Verge logo and search box, remains on the screen at all times.

Metro1ss

On the second page you’ll find our news feed — exactly as you’d see it on our site’s front page — along with the ‘you need to read this’ element (also from our front page) as a persistent column on the right. The third page is a column showing all of our features, and the fourth a similar column showing all our reviews. Pretty simple.

Metro2ss

I’ve also toyed with the idea of having the user icon in the bottom left corner as a persistent feature across all pages (tapping on it would expand your comment/post count and forum shortcuts), but i’m not sure that’s really in keeping with the spirit of Metro.

metro3ss

Every single element in the app is straight from the website (aside from the notifications icon and some text headers). With my limited development experience, I feel like pulling in already-existing elements directly from the web, and displaying it natively would be an extremely simple dev task. Perhaps I’m missing something. The only issue I could foresee popping up is Typekit support.

metro4ss

Why do I think this is so great? Well, perhaps I’m biased, but I think with a little work this design could really work. It’s kind of like our website has exploded into easy-to-read/navigate sections, perfect for the smaller screen of a tablet. What I can say with certainty is this: it looks DIFFERENT. That’s important to me, and that’s important to companies. The Verge can keep its unique design identity, just as every other website or app can, while still conforming to the Metro navigational paradigms, which I’m a big fan of.

I think if professionals can dream a little bigger, and break out from the perceived boundaries of Metro, they can create some unique, beautiful, and, most importantly, compelling experiences for Windows 8.

In the interest of not making everyone load huge images I’ve kept the embeds small. If you’d like to play around the original .INDD file / assets, shoot me an email.

Final Disclaimer: this doesn’t mean that we’re making a Metro app, that we’re not making a Metro app, or that this looks anything like our potential possible theoretical Metro app. I’m just a guy that had an hour to fill on a train.