Bright light therapy and dementia

Current findings indicate that bright light therapy may benefit people with dementia, but further research is needed. Learn more about this alternative therapy.

Will bright light therapy prevent or treat dementia and its symptoms?

One small but well-conducted study showed promising effects of bright light therapy on restlessness and disturbed sleep for people with dementia.

A large and well-conducted research review found that bright light therapy can result in less daytime sleeping and increased night-time sleeping.

Current findings indicate that bright light therapy may benefit people with dementia, but further research is needed.

What is bright light therapy?

Sleep disorders and disruptive behaviour during the night are commonly associated with dementia. Bright lights have been found to be beneficial as a treatment for these sleep disturbances.

In bright light therapy, a person sits in front of a light box that provides about 30 times more light than the average office light, for a set amount of time each day.

Recommended light box suppliers

The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA) provide a list of recommended manufacturers of light boxes that may also be used in dementia.

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