Everyone has moments of tiredness. Light therapy enables the regulationof chronic fatigue. For the majority, it is only a question of passing attacks of fatigue. For others, this tiredness is present for months. This persistant and wearing fatigue is called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and since 1992 is recognized as a neurological illness by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Like seasonal depression, women are 2 to 4 times more effected than men.
Causes of chronic fatigue
The causes of this illness are still vague, and are the subject of numerous clinical studies. More and more doctors agree that it may be a matter of a viral or bacterial infection but this has still to be shown.
How do I know if I suffer from chronic fatigue?
We distinguish chronic fatigue from simple fatigue through several aspects:
- Persistant tiredness (>6 months)
- Beginning of marked tiredness
- Not linked to physical effort and does not improve with rest
- Absence of a clearly identified cause
- Cause of professional and personal problems
- Associated with serious physiological problems (ex: headaches, memory problems, sore throat, etc.)
How do I treat my chronic fatigue problems?
Being still quite unknown, a specific treatment still does not exist to manage to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors have rather resorted to solutions which allow them to ease the symptoms. Numerous treatments are undergoing evaluation but none have been clinically proven. While waiting, some simple advice to follow enables them to regain some energy, and therfore a quality of life: avoid stress, regularly practice a physical activity, sleep well, etc.
Light therapy has also shown some effectiveness when chronic fatigue is linked to sleep cycle problems (advance or delay in sleep cycle)
When should I use the Luminette if I suffer from chronic fatigue?
Advanced phase: “I go to sleep too early and I wake up too early”
It is advised to carry out a light therapy session in the late afternoon or start of the evening, 2-3 hours before the desired time of sleep. A session at this time will allow the user to go to bed later and wake up later. They should normally sleep for a longer time.
Delayed phase: “I go to sleep too late and I find it hard to wake up in the morning”
It is advised to carry out a light therapy session in the morning, upon waking up. After a few days, the user should go to sleep earlier in the evening and should wake up with more spirit.
Generally, a person suffering from chronic fatigue who uses light therapy should feel less tired and find a better life. However, it is quite unlikely that the symptoms will be completely treated.
Discover how light therapy treats people with chronic fatigue,
with Roland Pec - Sleep specialist and chronotherapist