Light Therapy and Sleep Disorders/
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Circadian rhythm refers to events related to the daily rotation of the earth, such as our internal body clock which regulates sleep and wakefulness. Our bodies depend on the rising and setting of the sun to get the signal of when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to fall asleep. The effect of light exposure on our circadian rhythms is critically dependent on its timing-morning light moves the sleep/wake clock earlier, while evening light shifts the clock later.
Our circadian clock is also tied to the production of melatonin, which is produced in the pineal gland. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that produces “sleep” or “darkness” thereby aiding in sleep regulation. Melatonin production is also directly linked to relieving depression.
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