Objective: Identify the treatment effects of 6 weeks of daily 30-minute sessions of morning blue light therapy compared with placebo amber light therapy in the treatment of sleep disruption following mild traumatic brain injury. Design: Placebo-controlled randomized trial. Participants: Adults aged 18 to 45 years with a mild traumatic brain injury within the past 18 months (n = 35). Main Outcome Measures: Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Beck Depression Inventory II, Rivermead Post-concussion Symptom Questionnaire, Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire, and actigraphy-derived sleep measures. Results: Following treatment, moderate to large improvements were observed with individuals in the blue light therapy group reporting lower Epworth Sleepiness Scale (Hedges' g = 0.882), Beck Depression Inventory II (g = 0.684), Rivermead Post-concussion Symptom Questionnaire chronic (g = 0.611), and somatic (g = 0.597) symptoms, and experiencing lower normalized wake after sleep onset (g = 0.667) than those in the amber light therapy group. In addition, individuals in the blue light therapy group experienced greater total sleep time (g = 0.529) and reported improved Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire scores (g = 0.929) than those in the amber light therapy group. Conclusion: Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and sleep disruption are common following a mild traumatic brain injury. These findings further substantiate blue light therapy as a promising nonpharmacological approach to improve these sleep-related complaints with the added benefit of improved postconcussion symptoms and depression severity.
- brain concussion
- postconcussion syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology