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Red lights and sleep

We have had multiple separate reports about sleep improvements (usually from spouses) and there is an exciting consistency in these reports.

We are getting more reports about improvement in sleep for people with Parkinson’s Disease using red lights on a daily basis.

One Eliza-user has given permission for me to quote his wife’s description:

I have noticed a vast improvement in his sleep. Prior to him starting the light therapy, he was having very restless sleep at night. He was suffering insomnia and he often lashed out in very jerky uncontrolled movements during sleep. He now sleeps very soundly and the sudden uncontrolled movements have stopped completely. As a result he has more energy during the day.

We are particularly thrilled about his improved sleep as this not only impacted on him but also on me. His medication has not changed at all.”

REM sleep disorder is a well-known part of the Parkinson’s Disease progression; it is very disruptive and distressing for the individual and partner. It seems that the red lights have an effect on REM sleep, and somehow sooth it.

We have had multiple separate reports about sleep improvements (usually from spouses) and there is an exciting consistency in these reports. A soothing sleep is good for all.

 

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The Beginning

Constant knee pain makes it hard to be active, so in mid 2015, I did a lot of sitting and reading. One of the books was Norman Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing.

Chapter 4 covered the effect of red and near infrared light on the brain and spinal cord, and there were some remarkable stories told. In passing, Doidge mentioned the positive effect of red and near infrared light on arthritic joints and damaged tendons.

I went hunting on Google Scholar and found some medical journal articles that Continue reading “The Beginning”

Rudolph

When I first started working with red lights, I found a rather strange device that was being marketed for rhinitis (hayfever). It had two nasal prongs, each with a 660nm light at the end of it, battery operated. The blurb said that the lights were lasers, but they were really LEDs.

I bought a stack of these things and when we tried them, they were immediately christened Rudolph, as they created the perfect red-lit nose.

The first person to be given a Rudolph was of course Max with Parkinson’s Disease, my first guinea pig. All the people involved in the early days of the light adventures were given a Rudolph and instructed to use it at the same time as the one wavelength Eliza light hat.

It has only just occurred that I had neglected the value of the Rudolph, and I have not mentioned it at all in any of the posts.

So for all those of you using your red light Eliza, think adding a Rudolph to your red light armamentarium.

The photo shows the first Rudolph. The brand name is Bionase, but I’ve just done a quick search on various websites and you can buy exactly the the same device under different brand names. The prices vary considerably, so do look around before buying. (I paid $A8 for the one in the photo.)

I do recommend that you use Rudolph in a private spot at home. Observers of Rudolph-in-action cannot help making a comment about your nose and I can guarantee it won’t be complimentary…

A new Eliza

This is a beautifully made Eliza and beats any of my efforts. I am very taken with the pouring lip on the bucket and the way this space has been cleverly used to store the electrical bibs and bobs.

This Eliza has two wavelengths, and has a switch to flick from one to the other. Very very nicely made.

Many thanks to the maker and Eliza-owner for letting me post these great photos.

The two wavelengths have been squeezed into every available space.

The pouring lip has been cleverly usedOn the red wavelength. Beautiful colour!

And the near-infrared wavelength. You can only just see it as it is on the edge of visible light. But it will be felt!

A southern Eliza

A flowerpot was the inspiration.


It was cut down and turned into a very effective light hat.


It is so good to hear about the increasing population of Eliza light hats, and variations of Eliza light hats.

A number of people have made contact to say that taking on the task of making such a bizarre device was a challenge.

But having started, often with huge trepidation, it was not as difficult as it initially seemed.

The sense of achievement was itself therapeutic. And wearing a DIY Eliza gives enlightenment and amusement.

All power to DIY, eh?

Photobiomodulation – what is it?

Photobiomodulation, shortened to PBM, is defined as the use of low level red and near-infrared light on the body. The intention is not to hear or burn the tissues, but to give a bigger dose than you would get from just sitting in the sunshine. 

PBM is also called LLLT (low level light/laser therapy).

Reading medical journal articles is like doing battle with a big dictionary. Lots of polysyllabic words, and lots of abbreviations.

Photobiomodulation, shortened to PBM, is defined as the use of low level red and near-infrared light on the body. The intention is not to heat or burn the tissues, but to give a bigger dose than you would get from just sitting in the sunshine.

PBM is also called LLLT (low level light/laser therapy). The very earliest experiments used laser lights, but it has now been realised that LED lights are just as good, and in some ways, better than lasers. Laser light is coherent, meaning that it is in a highly concentrated beam and doesn’t scatter. This is fine if you know exactly where to point it. LED lights are non-coherent, meaning that they happily scatter. When you don’t have a specific target then this is the best approach. As well, there is good evidence that the more that the head is bathed in red/infrared light, the deeper the penetration of the light. So LED lights are increasingly selected for PBM research – it helps that they are cheaper and easier to use.

Red and near-infrared light works in two ways – the direct effect and the indirect effect.  In some articles, the term “systemic” is used instead of “indirect”. For those who use Eliza light hats, the indirect or systemic effect is working hard, but there is some direct effect as some of the light will penetrate into the top of the brain tissue.

I’m attaching an article January 2017 called Photobiomodulation and the brain: a new paradigm by Madison Hennessy and Michael Hamblin.

download here

It covers the new research areas in PBM, and gives some interesting summaries of the findings to date.