How Does Light Therapy Affect My Sleep Cycle?
Sunlight, we know, has one of the most significant impacts on our sleep schedule or ability to fall asleep. Would it be surprising to learn that light therapy can have a similar effect on our circadian rhythm? Studies have shown us evidence that PBM can help a person to essentially “reset” their circadian rhythm with light waves. This is helpful to those who suffer from insomnia or perhaps work nights and find it difficult to sleep such odd hours.
Hormones also play a significant role in our ability to sleep soundly each night. The way our body produces hormones is significantly impacted by exposure to light therapy, so says science. This is a good thing for those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.
There is a small gland located in our brains, called the pineal gland. This small area of tissue that lives in our brain is responsible for producing melatonin, the hormone that our body requires to fall asleep and stay asleep each night.
How Does this Benefit my Overall Health?
PBM helps to boost mitochondrial actions in order to benefit the area of the body that is being targeted. (i.e. skin, muscle, brain, etc.). Melatonin and the other processes that occur while we are sleeping are what our mitochondria depend on for natural energy. Meaning, without melatonin and adequate sleep each night, the rest of our body will suffer. Our mitochondria are protected and regenerated by melatonin while we sleep soundly each night.
Humans need sleep to thrive each day, so it should go without saying that anything that enhances our sleep quality would be beneficial. Our bodies need time to rest and recharge so that our cells have the energy to keep us going every day.
What Science is Telling Us
“Exposure to this bright light helps to adjust your circadian rhythm — physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle and respond primarily to light and darkness in the environment — and may help certain people sleep earlier at night or sleep later in the morning. Light therapy is designed to use visible light while filtering out ultraviolet rays.” Source: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/light-therapy-insomnia-sufferers
“Evidence shows that this form of light, in wavelengths from 600-900 nanometers, induce melatonin production in the body.” Source: https://www.wiseapetea.com/blogs/knowledge/hack-your-brain-with-light-therapy
Suggested Usage for Sleep Improvement
How Often Should I Use Light Therapy?
3-7 times per week is sufficient
How Long Should I Use it?
- 2-4 minutes at 6 inches away from your light
- 3-7 minutes at 1 foot away from your light
- 5-10 minutes at 1.5 feet away from your light
It’s recommended not to exceed a total of 15 minutes of light therapy per day.