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Activating the Power of Light Therapy for Good Sleep & Optimal Health

Light Therapy for Good Sleep & Optimal Health

Light for Sleep & Health - (Image Credit: Shutterstock); Author picture - (Image Credit: Author)

Do you constantly struggle with sleep disturbances or yearn for more a more consistent emotional state? Perhaps “light therapy” is your answer.

The human body field needs the full spectrum of light in a range of colors to work optimally.

Every cell/organ needs a certain light color, and different colors have various healing qualities.

Light itself affects various brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep.

Depending on the actual light color and the time of day, this can be extremely helpful or harmful to overall health and wellness.

For example, red is known for preventing inflammation, helping with cardiovascular functions, healing wounds and anti-aging properties.

Blue light is known to address alertness, cognitive functions, and skin issues such as acne and rosacea.

You can see the benefits that these light colors provide, and we need all colors of light, but just not all of the time.

1. Getting Good Sleep

Light can be especially impactful for getting good sleep. It’s suggested to set your circadian rhythm when traveling, you should watch the sunrise and sunset.

This is one of the best ways to reset your body’s clock when entering different time zones.

This can also be beneficial for people who struggle to get out of bed in the morning.

Watching the sunrise or having daylight in your bedroom triggers your body to wake up.

This simple strategy can be extremely helpful if all things are equal.

However, if you live somewhere far from the equator such as Alaska, this can complicate your exposure to light.

But matter where you live, as daylight decreases in fall and winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder can often set in for many.

2. Understanding Circadian Rhythms

Circadian Rhythms
No matter the time of year, simple daily habits that frequently get overlooked can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythms or mood without even realizing it.

Something as unassuming as getting up at night to go to the bathroom and getting fluorescent light exposure in the middle of the night causes our bodies to react and begin making hormones that wake us up.

It is no surprise then that after a trip to the bathroom, it can be very hard to fall asleep again and allow our bodies to properly rest and recharge.

Additionally, most everyone has heard of the harmful effects of blue light from TV, cellphones and computers. While we know the ideal situation is to stay away from this light an hour or two before bedtime, it’s not always possible.

Everyone is not going to always sleep through the night without waking to go to the bathroom, or live in a region that gets 10 hours of sunlight year-round, so what can we do?

3. At-Home Light Therapies

One workaround to the at-home light issue is getting special light bulbs for different uses.

  • Red light is conducive to sleep, so try installing red bulbs in your bedroom or as nightlights and use for any nighttime reading.
  • Halogen bulbs produce the whitest light – very similar to daylight. These can be useful for a gloomy day or winter time when there is less daylight. Conversely, you’ll want to avoid using them after dusk.
  • Compact fluorescent bulbs are extremely energy efficient, however, they produce the most blue light which will interfere with sleep. Keep these bulbs out of your bedroom.

Well-known biohacker Ben GreenField recommends using these Soraa light bulbs that use the full spectrum of light and least artificial home lighting.

Another option are the many different types of glasses and light therapy devices that can be used to “hack” the overall issue and ensure your body is getting the right amount of light and the right time.

For example, Ra Optics has various different types of light blocking glasses for various times of the day.

At Home Light Therapies

You can also go to facilities that offer red light therapy via a bed. If this is not an option where you live, consider an at-home red light product such as Joovv.

It comes highly recommended by many experts on this topic.

4. Using Light for Lasting Health Effects

Think of our bodies like a car – if something isn’t working properly, we want to find the easiest, most obvious solution to get it functioning properly, but we need to find the root source rather than trying to mask the issue.

Your mechanic has probably said to you, “We can do X as a cheaper option for the short-term, but eventually you’re going to need to address Y.

Why not go ahead and address the root cause first to get lasting and effective results. Light is how our cells make and use energy sending signals to our brains to react by making more or less of various hormones.

Addressing the way, you utilize light in your life and addressing some common mistakes will have a significant impact on your sleep and your health.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content on our website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or therapy. You should NEVER disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment due to something you have read on our website and we will not be held responsible for any adverse health condition or injury that occurs as a result of doing so.
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Kimberly Lackey

Integrative Health Coach

Kimberly Lackey is an Integrative Health Coach and Founder of Empath Coaching. She works with corporations and...

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