ⓘ Dark therapy is the practice of keeping people in complete darkness for extended periods of time in an attempt to treat psychological conditions. The human body ..


ⓘ Dark therapy

Dark therapy is the practice of keeping people in complete darkness for extended periods of time in an attempt to treat psychological conditions. The human body produces the melatonin hormone, which is responsible for supporting the circadian rhythms. Darkness seems to help keep these circadian rhythms stable. Dark therapy was said to be founded by a German anthropologist by the name of Holger Kalweit. A form of dark therapy is to block blue wavelength lights to stop the disintegration of melatonin. Some studies have shown this process improves the health of the human body, such as by minimizing headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, and insomnia.

The idea originated in 1998 from research which suggested that systematic exposure to darkness might alter peoples mood. Original studies enforced 14 hours of darkness to bipolar patients for three nights straight. This study showed a decrease of manic episodes in the patients. This study became unrealistic as more patients did not want to participate in treatment of total darkness from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. More recently, with the discovery of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, it has been hypothesized that similar results could be achieved by blocking blue light, as a potential treatment for bipolar disorder. Researchers exploring blue-blocking glasses have so far considered dark therapy only as an add-on treatment to be used together with psychotherapy, rather than a replacement for other therapies. Combining these two therapies significantly speeds up the process of improving patients health.

Another study was conducted between healthy male and females to see if a single exposure to blue light after being kept in a dim setting would improve the health of these individuals. This study proved this claim to be true as well as with reducing sleepiness. The results of this study further prove the original claim in that decreasing the amount of blue light will help with insomnia.

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