Army veteran Lisa Smith has lived with sleep problems and chronic pain for decades. 

“I was not able to sleep, no. It’s lower back, my lower back bothered me a whole lot,” said Lisa Smith, an army veteran.

So, she took part in a study to see if bright light therapy could help both her insomnia and her pain. Researchers from Rush University Medical Center are studying whether sitting in front of a bright light box for an hour first thing in the morning could improve symptoms for veterans like Lisa.

The theory is the light advances your day cycle – so your body releases melatonin earlier. That could lead to improved sleep – and as a result: less pain!

“If you haven’t slept in a while, you’re more sensitive to pain,” said John Burns, PhD and Clinical Psychologist at Rush University Medical Center.

The bright light worked for Lisa!

“You know, I don’t remember having back pain after that. In three or four days I started really realizing that I’m going to have to set my alarm now to get up because I’m not awake,” Smith went on to say.

A different published study recently found people with PTSD reported better sleep and fewer symptoms after exposure to blue light therapy.

A simple solution that could solve some big problems for veterans.