WASHINGTON — Carefully timed doses of bright light promise to be an effective tool in resetting the internal clocks of people troubled by jet lag and similar sleep disturbances, scientists reported Thursday.
A team of Boston researchers said tests of 14 men found that humans' natural alarm clocks are far more sensitive to light than expected, and "can be reset to any desired phase by scheduled exposure to light for two to three days."
Ordinarily, it can take nine days or longer for the body to adjust to a new sleep-wake cycle after long international flights or working a swing shift.
May Lead to Cures
In a study published in the journal Science, the scientists speculated that their technique may pave the way for "rapid and practical" treatments for people plagued by sleep disorders.