Light Therapy for Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is very frequently associated with poor overnight sleep and daytime sleepiness. We have a regular internal sleep/wake cycle that keeps us awake and keeps our sleep time on track. Being exposed to bright light therapy has been shown to improve the sleep/wake cycle in people with sleep problems as well as in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

This study is being done to look at the effects that exposure to a bright light has on daytime sleepiness and night-time sleep in PD. About 30 people with Parkinson’s disease and sleep problems will be in this study. Bright light therapy involves sitting in front of a light box for 1 to 1. 5 hours several times a day for a few weeks.

Three clinic visits (approximately 1 hour each) and two 24-hour stays (including sleep studies) are involved in this study. There are also three 14-day periods in between the clinic visits where activity levels will be measured using an actiwatch, a small, watch-like device that measures movement throughout the day and night, and participants will complete daily sleep logs at home. During one of the 14-day periods, participants will use the light box as instructed at home.

Below is a link to the Northwestern University – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center for Clinical Trial Participation: