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Sleep awareness and health

Solutions to sleep problems by using blue light
Woman getting sunlight
Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 20:25:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Dr. William D. Scott Killgore is the Director of the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience lab at the University of Arizona. He’s been studying sleep issues for years; and says using blue light therapy is one way to get a good night's sleep.

“We use a blue light wavelength light therapy device to regulate what’s called the circadian rhythm,” Killgore said. "The rhythm really determines when you are most likely to sleep and wake up."

Using the light method can be effective for 9 to 5 and overnight workers, but the key is to use it properly during the right time of day.

"For a person on a normal schedule if you go to work at 9 get off at 5 and go to bed at round 11 at night you want to use the light in the morning,” Killgore said. "If you’re on the night shift everything gets reversed. If you’re sleeping throughout the day and wake up and wake up at 5 in the evening, as soon as you get up now want to start using that light in the evening and that’s going to shift you in the other direction."

Consistency is an important piece of the puzzle. There are also plenty of sleep apps available to keep you on track.

"If you go out at the same time every day and get that bright blue sky and that sunlight each morning that helps reset the rhythm,” Killgore said. "You can use natural sunlight or an artificial device for about 30 minutes each day."

It can take anywhere from 3 days to 6 weeks to see results from light therapy. If you’re dealing with severe insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy can give you the tools needed to relax your mind and help you rest.

Aside from using the blue light and medications Dr. Killgore says you should:

*Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time including weekends

*Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and cool

*Remove devices like your tv, computer and smartphone from your bedroom

*Don’t eat heavy meals, or drink caffeine and alcohol before bed and get physically active during the day it can help you fall asleep.

"If you can’t fall asleep get out of your bed, go into the office or living room and do your work there but don’t do it in the bedroom,” Killgore said.


SLEEP HEALTH TIPS:,we're%20trying%20to%20sleep.

Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.