Eliza dosage – when and how long?

A few people have asked how long a light hat should be worn.

A previous post about the Goldilocks Effect is really important to read, as it describes the research on the odd effect of too much red light.

More red light is not better – it can make things worse. Neurones are finicky fellows and we must respect this.

So how long should you wear an Eliza light hat, or any kind of red/near infrared light on the head? As everyone’s light hat is different, it is impossible to give absolutely firm advice. But based on what I’ve observed over the time of making many and varied light hats, I’d suggest the following considerations.

Comfort

Comfort is THE most important consideration. If your light hat makes your head uncomfortable in any way, especially uncomfortably hot after fewer than 20 minutes, then turn it off. People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can be more sensitive to temperature changes. Someone without PD could easily wear a light hat for 20 minutes, but someone with PD might find it really horrible and distressingly hot after 3 minutes.

If it is only comfortable to wear for only 3 minutes, then 3 minutes is the right duration. No more.

If you have used high-powered super-dooper LEDS then comfort will be an important issue. Again, avoid generating a hot head or making someone put up with being uncomfortably hot.

Your light hat must be comfortable and not hot


Boredom

It is fine to have red light shining in your eyes (interestingly it is looking like red/near infrared light could be helpful in an eye condition called macula degeneration).

But if you have a light hat covering your eyes, then you are going to be bored out of your brain as you can’t read or watch television. Being bored is a major comfort issue.

If your light hat covers your eyes, then limit the use to 5 minutes at a time.

Wearing a light hat must allow for other activities especially reading or watching TV.


Daily

The neurones need a daily dose of light. There isn’t much point in having a light hat if it is used every now and then. Neurones need the regular boost to keep those helpful chemical cascades chug in the right direction.

Is twice a day better than once a day? Maybe yes, maybe no, but definitely once a day.

Use your light hat daily.


Mornings

I don’t know if neurones respond better after a good night’s sleep plus a cup of tea to face the day, but it is possible. I have visions of neurones being happy little vegemites in the mornings, but I guess that vision will be lost on anyone outside Australia.

Wear your light hat in the morning. Wear it at breakfast while you eat your weeties, read the paper and sip that bracing cup of tea. It gets the task out of the way early.

If you use your light hat twice a day, make one of the times in the morning, and the other time a good eight hours later.

Wear your light hat in the mornings.


How long is just right?

Well, how long is a piece of string…

If you are starting out using a light hat, then start with 10 minutes at a time (or fewer if your head feels uncomfortable). If 10 minutes is OK, then gradually increase the time, making comfort a prime consideration.

I would not recommend a single light session longer than 25 minutes, and if you have high-intensity LEDs then no longer than 15 minutes.

I know that it seems logical that more light has to be better, but it just isn’t.  Trust the science on this one.

Do not sit there with a hot and uncomfortable head because you feel that you must endure 20 minutes. Enduring is not helpful.

Do not make someone else wear a light hat that makes them uncomfortable in any way.

Be careful. Start low, and make comfort the priority.

Author: redlightsonthebrain

Redlightsonthebrain is a retired doctor curious about the brain.