In health, people are becoming more experimental, turning to the latest trends for a better life. One of the health trends – which has been around for a while now – is light therapy. From improving mood to helping sleep and even healthier skin, light therapy claims to do it all. Here’s what you need to know.
What is that?
In simple terms, this therapy exposes you to different lights, mainly blue, white and red, in order to achieve the desired effect. For example, bright white light is known to boost mood, especially if you haven’t been in the sun for a while. It is believed that a seasonal affective disorder or SAD occurs when there is a decrease in the happy hormones in the body. This can lead to severe symptoms like anxiety, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, problems concentrating, irritability, feelings of depression, among others. According to a study published in 1998 in the journal Psychological Medicine, white light therapy helped 70% of patients increase their level of happiness in just a few weeks.
If you have sleep problems, you can turn to blue light therapy. There are special LED bulbs that can fight insomnia by regulating the circadian rhythm or the natural sleep clock. It is believed that if the blue bulbs make you all active during the day, the blue bulbs that deplete you calm you at night and help you sleep better. Many studies dispute this, however, as it is believed that blue light can affect the sleep hormone melatonin. That’s why experts say you should stay away from phones before touching the bed at night, or use them in standby mode.
Then there is red light therapy, which claims to improve the texture of the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. According to a study published in 2013, the red color of light has anti-inflammatory properties that improve the production of collagen, thereby tightening the skin and making it healthy. If you are looking to harness the power of light therapy, especially red light therapy, it is best to first consult a dermatologist. Experts say the treatment, when combined with regular skin care – like using anti-aging creams – can work.