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04/05/2011

Philips goLite BLU a key to a good night's sleep?

GoLITE I’ve recently begun using the Phillips goLite Blu to fight a persistent bout of insomnia.

A few months ago, when the sleeping troubles were at their worst and the January days passed in a blur of twilight drives to and from work and grey skies in between, I hit rock bottom (actually, I fell down the stairs when heavily fatigued and missed a step). This prompted me to step up my efforts to sleep and go beyond the prescription sleeping pills that were having absolutely no effect.

Skeptical but desperate after having tried every other suggested cure, I came across the “blue light” – typically used to treat symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder “SAD”, one of which is insomnia. At this point, paying upwards of $150 for a good night’s sleep was totally within reason.

I chose the Phillips goLite BLU because it offered a 45 day money-back guarantee. This was long enough to determine if the product really improved my sleep. I also chose this particular brand because of the claims of increasing my alertness and for the Phillips Bluewave technology which works to reset circadian rhythms “by shifting the body clock to its correct timing, causing the proper signals to be produced at the right time of day.” The clincher was the ease of use claims. In my sleep-stunted state, I needed simple. 

I brought the goLite BLU to work and within 5 minutes, had the blue light programmed and running. I started at a medium intensity light, for 15 minutes, gradually going to 30 minutes a day. I used the light every work day for three full weeks, early in the AM, per the recommendations (using it late at night can make you very alert and disrupt your sleep). Once that bright light hit my face (it should be pointed towards your face, but not directly in your eyes) any residual sleepiness dissipated pretty quickly. 

Although the “alertness” I experienced from the blu light was immediate, it took longer to see a difference in my sleeping habits. However within a couple of weeks I was noticing a difference in my sleep and went from around 3 hours per night to 4-5 hours. While I think this is the type of product that has varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the person - for me, this was a win. 

I’m sleeping better overall these days, but I still plug in the goLite Blu a few times a week to make sure I don’t go back off track. I’ll definitely be proactive next fall when the SAD symptoms kick in again and hit the blue light every day.

By Nicole Preston

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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