Hi-tech glasses in new insomnia trial

Are you one of thousands of people who toss and turn and have trouble getting to sleep?

A new study at Flinders University is investigating whether Re-timer glasses can help insomniacs’ body clock finally get a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia is a very common disorder that affects the lives of about 2.5 million Australians.

The study is seeking to treat those whose main difficulty is getting to sleep initially but who sleep relatively soundly after finally getting to sleep.

The green-light glasses, developed by sleep and psychology experts at Flinders University, are used around the world by business and sporting people, students and shift workers for jetlag and assorted sleep disorders, often in tandem with other measures.

“We want to see how long it takes the insomniac group to benefit from using the devices, in their home environment,” says trial leader Dr Nicole Lovato, from the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health at Flinders University, Bedford Park.

Previous Flinders University studies with normal sleepers showed the glasses can delay the body clock when used in the evening, or to shift the body clock earlier when the Re-timers are used in the morning.

“Our past research has shown that the insomnia problem to taking a long time to fall asleep, or sleep onset insomnia, is caused by a body clock that is delayed,” says research supervisor Professor Leon Lack.

“Since we know the Re-timers correct the timing of the delayed body clock by shifting it earlier in time when used in the mornings, we are confident that they can also help those with sleep onset insomnia when used in the mornings.”

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