1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Give ME the Money
Graham McPhee spells out some of the cold, hard facts about the dismal state of ME research and politics, and has some suggestions as to what we can do about it ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Sleeping in completely dark room--helpful?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Gemma, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,535
    Likes:
    2,093
    London
    Gemma, do you have any reason for asking this question? I'm hoping that you know that plenty of ME people have been confined to a dark room (like myself) at acute times of their illness or because of light intolerance.

    I'm wondering if there was somewhere you were going with this question as I understand you are not a patient.
     
  2. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    Messages:
    388
    Likes:
    456
    Melatonin pills for sleep is a little tricky. You would need to take it at exactly the same time every evening to even have a hope of getting some kind of circadian rhythm established. Take the pills at the wrong time, or the wrong dose, and you disrupt that rhythm. And taking the pills doesn't exactly encourage your body to make more melatonin. So, it's not quite the same thing as establishing a natural circadian rhythm that's governed by your environment.

    The thing you have to understand about the glasses, or turning off the lights in a room, is that it's not magic. It's the getting on a consistent schedule — in a predictive fashion that doesn't deviate much from night to night — that actually establishes a body clock.

    Some conditions — not necessarily yours — are exacerbated by an irregular body clock. In those cases darkness therapy can be helpful to reset that clock. It's not meant to be a panacea.
     
    Sasha likes this.
  3. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Likes:
    2,845
    WA, USA
    fwiw, if I can keep a schedule it helps me feel more like a "normal person", but it does nothing for my symptoms. Getting enough sleep does prevent/slow deterioration, but it doesn't particularly seem to matter precisely when (other than related to when I last slept and to how much I've been doing lately), although it seems to help if it includes the morning hours.

    I think mine causes irregular body clock.... :cautious:
     
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes:
    8,254
    UK
    I'm thinking about how I can experiment with this in a cheap and easy way. If I notice a difference to my sleep, I'd cough up for some prescription blue-blocking specs.

    I can't just buy ordinary blue-blocker specs because I wear prescription specs. I tried the cheap orange specs over them but couldn't get them to stay put - they were endlessly falling off. Someone recommended flip-up lenses to me but you seem to have to buy ones to fit your specs and I can't anyway find any within the UK (I've already tried several opticians and chemists). My existing specs' lenses are anyway quite small because of my high prescription - I think they'd probably let lots of blue light in around the periphery (not sure if that's an issue).

    I have full-spectrum lightbulbs throughout most of my flat and for my reading lamp. Presumably even normal incandescent bulbs aren't OK anyway.

    So I'm wondering what to do and there are two elements to this:

    (1) if blocking blue light is going to make a difference, how quickly should I see it?

    (2) given my limitations (can't use special specs, can't use my normal lighting), what should I be doing? Going to bed once it's too dark to see by normal light and using an orange-filtered torch to light my way in the bathroom (no windows) and if I have to get up in the night?

    If I end up having to get prescription blue-blocker specs, how can I be sure that my optician is using lenses that will really block the correct wavelengths? What should I be asking for?
     
  5. Asklipia

    Asklipia Senior Member

    Messages:
    604
    Likes:
    473
    We saw results within one week-ten days.

    Try it for a 10 days period. And see the difference.

    Sorry, I can't help more than that. If you find out it helps, then you may find enough energy to sort this out by yourself?
    Be well!
    Asklipia
     
    Sasha likes this.
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes:
    8,254
    UK
  7. Asklipia

    Asklipia Senior Member

    Messages:
    604
    Likes:
    473
    Yes, we realized we had been poisoned by colour for years.
    Now we have no problems seeing the colours a few days at a time. After more than 3 days the old problems creep back.
    Of course, nowadays there are colour stimuli everywhere in amazing quantities. Cui bono?
     
  8. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    Messages:
    388
    Likes:
    456
    For me the difference was immediate. But, that's because I'm typically staring into my computer screen late at night. Honestly, staring at a computer screen is probably the worse thing you can do at night (again, it's like staring at the sun) and for years I thought I was somehow special that I never got tired. Little did I know I was frying my pineal gland.

    So, the day I installed f.lux on my computer, I noticed a difference. But when I got the cheap amber glasses I really noticed a difference. I felt extremely tired after putting them on, when I normally could stay awake if I wasn't wearing them. But, again, they aren't magic. I would have had the exact same effect if I were camping by fire-light or sitting in a dark room. My dreams became more vivid with the glasses (this was before I ever took RS).

    Ideally, everyone should be getting 9+ hours of melatonin production on a consistent schedule. The more consistent your daily schedule, the more your body will learn to produce it's own melatonin on que. According to studies, it's the changing of schedule that messes with the circadian rhythm and dampens melatonin production.

    So...for the average person, count back 9 hours from when you want to get up. If you want to get up at 7:00 AM each morning, then you only need to wear the glasses on nights that you are up past 10PM. If you're always in bed with the lights out by 10PM, there's no need to wear the glasses. If you want extra hours of melatonin, you can put the glasses on earlier — as some people say wearing them an hour before bed makes it easier to fall asleep. However, if you do that, you'll want to always do that on that schedule so that your body clock is on a consistent schedule.

    The important thing to remember is that consistency of the timing is how you improve your melatonin production. Your body clock isn't really engineered to deviate by its schedule by more than 15 minutes (the sun usually only changes its schedule by about 5 minutes per day, depending on where you live).

    However, there's no need to be obsessive about it. Your body clock will not get deviated from one or two days of not wearing your glasses. But, the research suggests that after the third day of inconsistency, your body clock will get confused and forget its internal schedule. Interestingly, a the moon is it's brightest for about 3 days — though, it's intensity is never greater than 1 lux (while your living room is about 50 lux).

    The amber "low blue" nightlights are excellent. Lowbluelights.com makes a little LED torch that attaches right to the top of any 9-volt battery.

    They do make "fit-over" eyewear in the States. Not sure if that's what was slipping off your face but they literally fit over your prescription glasses:

    https://www.lowbluelights.com/products.asp?cid=18
     
    Sasha and Asklipia like this.
  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes:
    8,254
    UK
    Thanks so much, @Ripley, that's terrific info - I'm going to print that out!

    That's surprising that there's no need to wear the specs if, say, you go to bed at 10pm wanting 9 hours sleep and to get up at 7am. If you did it regularly, is the idea that your melatonin would suddenly start peaking at 10pm and you'd be straight off to sleep? I've only scan-read some of the info on this so far but I've seen several commentators saying that you should be blocking light for up to 3 hours before you go to bed.

    That's very interesting about the importance of lights-out at a regular time (within 15 mins tolerance).

    The specs I tried were a pair of safety specs (I think that's what they were designed for) that were big enough to go over the top of mine but there was nothing in their design to allow them to grab onto mine for support. The lowbluelights ones are sufficiently expensive that if I was going to go the specs route again, I think I'd just get a prescription pair made with cheap frames.

    Time I installed f.lux!
     
  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes:
    8,254
    UK
    BTW, I've ordered an orange acetate A4 sheet so that I can cover my torch lens with it - hopefully that will mean I'm not screwing things up if I have to get up in the night.
     
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

    Messages:
    8,297
    Likes:
    5,249
    Sth Australia
    For me sleeping in a completely dark room was helpful (in conjuction with having to take drugs for sleep. I had shocking sleep issues).

    I didnt realise it till I got rid of it that the little green light on my DVD display, not having my room in complete darkness was affecting me. (same with clocks with their little number displays, I cant have those in the room). I even ended up having to board my window up and the wee little bit of light around the curtain affected my sleep.

    Another thing which was affecting my sleep (thank God a CFS specialist warned me about this as I would of never worked this out to remove this myself) was going to bed with electric blanket on. I must have a little bit of sensitivity to EMF.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
    Asklipia and Sasha like this.
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

    Messages:
    8,297
    Likes:
    5,249
    Sth Australia
    I never found that I adapted to my melatonin.
     
    Sasha likes this.
  13. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    Messages:
    388
    Likes:
    456
    I'm not entirely convinced that a room needs to be ridiculously 100% dark for a healthy person, to the point of obsession. Before airplane contrails filled the sky with a non-stop blanket of hazy clouds and light pollution was non-existent, the stars used to be quite bright and our eyes were very sensitive at night. According to some historical accounts, you could see relatively well with the light from the milky way. However, we are still talking about extremely dim light and I suspect some strong LEDs and alarm clocks can be brighter than that. Of course, for people on this forum, you may need to take more precautions if you feel you are particularly sensitive.

    Another fun fact about the glasses, and your body clock, is that if you want to eliminate jet lag on an upcoming trip, you could do so with a little planning. Since you can shift your body clock by a maximum of 15 minutes per day without any effects, you would just wear the glasses either 15 minutes earlier, or by wear them for an extra 15 minutes first-thing in the morning each day, before seeing your first light. So, it would take four days of planning for each time zone you travel through. Personally, I just deal with the jet lag. :)
     
    Asklipia and Sasha like this.
  14. Asklipia

    Asklipia Senior Member

    Messages:
    604
    Likes:
    473
    No jet lag if you do not eat on the plane!
     
  15. KENNY-SILVERS

    KENNY-SILVERS conscientious objector

    Messages:
    161
    Likes:
    56
    Washington
    I knew this guy named Vick Chestnut . He would take a combination of Nyquil ,Dayquil and Zquil . He delivered
    Pizzas in a wheel chair . On Capitol Hill , in Seattle . One day a saw him drink 5 X 5 hour energy drinks . He said he could deliver Pizzas for 25 hours straight . He modified the wheel chair and used a Honda Mini Trail engine
    with centrifugal clutch . The Wa State Patrol clocked him at 65 mph going through downtown Seattle. I don't
    know if that's a safe route to go or not . To each their own .
     
    Valentijn and maryb like this.
  16. KENNY-SILVERS

    KENNY-SILVERS conscientious objector

    Messages:
    161
    Likes:
    56
    Washington
    I would try getting a vintage pair of 3D Sunglasses on Ebay . I'll tell you this much . I stopped wearing glasses while driving . Let's say it put the "sport" back in to driving . I raced bikes for years . Doing that , you learn to think quick .
    Like Costco . For some reason I get the impression people are trying to ram me with their carts .
     
  17. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Likes:
    2,845
    WA, USA
    Similarly, I found pulling my bed away from the wall, and pushing my lamp farther away too and using a plug distant from my bed, reduced nighttime vertigo.
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page