Even with our vast array of knowledge, we are in the dark on sleep disorders. What is really keeping us up at night? Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) are hoping to shed some light on the subject.  

A team of faculty and researchers from the UNM Health Sciences Center and the UNM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering teamed up on this research study. While the research isn’t breaking ground in how they treat their test subjects, their techniques are innovative. The team is exposing students, who are prone to late-nights and known for sleeping in, to light as a treatment for their sleep disorders. The team has developed a new “smart lighting” room that simulates natural daylight. In fact, it even changes the quality and intensity of the lighting throughout the day.  

Previous experiments with light therapy often involved exposing test subjects to artificial light boxes- which simulated an artificial environment. The new UNM room will have a more natural environment. The lead for the project, Professor Steve Brueck, does not believe any other scientific studies have been conducted with technology similar to theirs.  

What are the implications of this smart lighting room? Think about victims of traumatic brain injury recovering more quickly instead of experiencing prolonged sleep problems. Plus, this experiment could lead to many findings leading to treatment for a wide range of physical and mental disorders that disrupt sleep patterns.

Source: Rayburn, Rosalie. March 22nd, 2016. Light Sleepers. Albuquerque Journal. Available fromhttp://www.abqjournal.com/743946/health/light-sleepers.html