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Sleep Innovation Prevention

Wearable Infrared Light Device Might Help People Sleep

11 months, 3 weeks ago

6601  0
Posted on Aug 07, 2023, 3 p.m.

Image Caption: Phototherapy Device Credit: University of Arizona

An infrared light-emitting collar may help those with sleep issues obtain the sleep they are seeking, according to a press release from researchers at the University of Arizona. Participants in the study experienced significant improvements in sleep-related symptoms after three weeks of phototherapy, reporting better sleep quality, improved daytime functioning, and feeling more refreshed as well as relaxed. 

For this five-week study, 30 participants between the ages of 30-60 years old with sleep issues but no diagnosis of sleep disorders wore cervical collars emitting near-infrared light every other night before bed for three weeks, while the controls wore inactive collars. Participants also completed daily questionnaires relating to insomnia severity, physical symptoms, rating of sleep quality, perceived change in sleep, and feeling of relaxation, freshness, and daytime functioning. 

“This novel phototherapy device — while still being explored and in need of further research — appeared to be generally well-tolerated by a small group of participants,” says lead author Kathryn Kennedy, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona. “Those with active, light-emitting devices — as opposed to the inert sham devices — self-reported an increase in relaxation and better sleep with use.”

The authors noted that there are many sleep trackers available on the market, but there are few wearable devices that are designed to improve sleep and next-day performance, making near-infrared light a potential candidate to help overcome sleep issues. 

“Given the emerging field of photobiomodulation and its potential neuroprotective and vasodilating effects, this red-light and near-infrared emitting device may be useful if milliwatt power level, dosage, and frequency of use are refined,” she said.

A research abstract was recently published in the journal Sleep, and it was presented during SLEEP 2023, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, which is a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

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Image Caption: Phototherapy Device Credit: University of Arizona

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