Light therapy could be used to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers from the University of South Carolina in Columbia carried out a small-scale study on 16 soldiers suffering from PTSD after coming back from the Iraq war. Half received 10,000 lux of bright-light therapy for 30 minutes each day while half received sham treatment with an inactivated ion generator. Those who received the bright-light therapy showed a 'significantly greater improvement' in sleep disturbances and moderate improvements in their PTSD symptoms and depression. Sleep disturbances can help to trigger off and maintain PTSD so a treatment which can tackle this, is relatively cheap and has few side effects could be a significant breakthrough.