Blue Light Therapy in Those With Concussions to Improve Sleep Quality and or Sleep Disturbances

Bradlee Wells, Audrey Meche, Aric Warren

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Utilizing data from the 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the Center for Disease Control analyzed the prevalence of concussions in high school-aged students and estimated that approximately 15% of students (2.5 million) reported having at least one concussion during the study period. Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and can cause problems such as headaches, dizziness, dazed or confusion, difficulty remembering or concentrating, vomiting, blurred vision, but one of the most common complications that can occur from concussions are sleep disturbances/disorders. About 90% of those who have a TBI reported some type of sleep disturbance that include insomnia, frequent wakefulness after onset sleep, general sense of poor sleep quality, disordered breathing, fatigue, increased need for sleep, and or daytime sleepiness that may possibly interfere with daily living activities. Previous evidence suggests that daily blue wavelength light therapy (BLT) may be effective at reducing fatigue and improving sleep in patients recovering from mild TBI. Therefore, the clinical question of this critical appraisal is: does BLT help improve overall sleep quality and or sleep disturbances in those with concussions?

Methods: A computerized literature search was conducted from October to November of 2023 through PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect to identify studies of level 2 evidence or higher investigating the impact of BLT on sleep in concussed patients. Those studies included must have assessed the effectiveness of BLT versus a control to improve sleep quality and or sleep disturbances. The main outcomes were fatigue, daytime sleepiness, sleep quality, and depression.

Results: The search strategy revealed 4 relevant studies that were included and met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All of the studies supported the clinical question and identified that BLT intervention helps improve sleep quality and or disturbances in concussed patients. One study showed that the BLT group fell asleep 57.5 minutes earlier compared to baseline (P =.004). While another study shows that there was a significant reduction in fatigue in those that were in the BLT group (P < .001) with also a significant reduction of daytime sleepiness in the BLT group (P <.01).

Conclusions: There is significant evidence that shows that BLT improves sleep quality and or sleep disturbances in those who have sustained a concussion. Peak absorption for the light sensitive protein, melanopsin is around 480nm, most of these studies utilized the intervention for at least 30 minutes throughout a 6-week period. BLT was also shown to improve other concussion symptoms that were not investigated in this study such as depression, alertness, and cognitive function.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
- Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 202417 Feb 2024


Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • blue light therapy
  • concussion
  • TBI
  • sleep quality
  • sleep disturbances


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