Every day we are exposed to different factors that affect our health and wellbeing. Pollution is the new health scare of today, and organic products are the new health craze, but there is something that we are all surrounded by every day with a huge impact on our health – light.
You are likely to be reading this article in an interior space with artificial lights. For most people in the modern world, most aspects of life are optimized and digitized in a sum of artificial and natural light. While some light sources are accused of causing some confusion or negative impact on our bodies, on the whole, artificial lighting has afforded mankind incalculable possibilities.
The 24-hour biological cycle of almost all living beings responds to light differently in terms of your sleep quality, mood, wakefulness, digestion, temperature control, and cell renewal, and more.
In this article, we will explain some of the interesting ways in which light can affect our lives.
Our emotions are greatly affected by the lights we are exposed to. Whilst natural light brings a great calming effect, a lack of light can be depressing, the most solid proof being seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When winter comes and the days become shorter, your circadian rhythm can change in a way that can lead to depression. Different color lights can have different effects on us. For example, blue light actually has great effects on increasing alertness and improving performance on psychomotor vigilance tasks as it is believed to activate executive functions in our brain.
When you go out in the sun for a long time, it is advisable to wear sunblock to protect yourself from ultraviolet light, which has damaging effects on the tissues and cells. However, the heat people feel when exposed to the sun – infrared light – has shown to have significant health benefits in helping cells to regenerate and repair themselves. The experts at https://www.therabulb.com/blogs/test/the-benefits-of-infrared-light-therapy explain that is why infrared light therapy is now used by innovative therapies for patients with acute or chronic pain. With this therapy, certain wavelengths of infrared light are delivered to the injured part of the body to promote faster healing of deep tissues and relieving pain. Infrared light can improve the circulation of oxygen-rich blood in the body, provide deep pain relief without damaging the skin through UV radiation.
3. Sleep & Mental Health
Because of its stimulating effects, blue light keeps you awake, which is now becoming a big issue for many people with the increasing screen time in most of our lives. Blue light is believed to suppress the sleep-related hormone melatonin, which makes us feel more awake and leads to more cases of insomnia. However, if used intelligently in spaces where the mind needs to get to work, such as a meeting room or factories, blue light can benefit us in terms of increasing productivity. To prevent insomnia and minimize the negative effect of blue light, it’s best to spend the last hour or so of your day in dim light, which means staying away from your screens, so you can fall asleep better. Sleep can also be affected by conditions like fibromyalgia, which can be treated using special concentrated light.
The brighter the lights, the more powerfully you experience your emotions. This may result from the fact that our bodies perceive light as heat, and the perception of heat triggers our emotions. While dim light reduces emotionality, blue light promotes productivity. Understanding the effect of light can help us to make the best daily decision.
To make wise everyday decisions, you can go on dimming the light to help reduce emotionality. To maximize your productivity and morale, use LEDs in the workplace to wake everyone up and literally brighten their day. LED light has so many useful applications and is even used in various medical treatments. If you can, it’s still best to make use of natural light in the office, as it can reduce headaches, stress, and anxiety, so move desks next to the windows where possible. Spending many hours in harsh artificial light can make you feel uneasy, so for soothing activities like reading, consider using fluorescent lights.
Light can also have a major effect on your appetite. The more blue-enriched the light is, the more hungry you feel. A study has shown that compared to dim light exposure, blue light can increase hunger after 15 minutes and present almost 2 hours after the meal. This may explain late-night cravings because exposure to artificial light is telling your brain that it is time to have a snack. Light exposure at night also throws off your metabolism, which is yet another reason to dim the light when staying up late.
6. Daylight Savings
Many places in the world have recognized daylight savings time as a way to make better use of daylight in the summer to increase productivity. However, it means that we throw off our circadian rhythms twice a year, and it messes with our head every time we move forward or back an hour. It is a long call to make any significant changes to the daylight savings time, but there are things we can do to experience this new daytime. One thing you can do is to try waking up to the light, as exposing your body to morning light as soon as you get out of bed will help to create an in-sync body clock.
7. Regulating the Circadian Rhythm
As we have seen, light plays an important role in regulating our circadian rhythm, often called our body clock. Light acts as the natural biorhythm of our body. Even after thousands of years of evolution, our body clock still does not work in agreement with the artificial clock. On average, our body clock runs for 24 hours and 30 minutes, which means that we are inclined to sleep and wake up 30 minutes later every day. However, when the body is exposed to bright light at night, this sleep cycle is delayed and makes us want to sleep later, which can harm health. Exposure to the appropriate quality of light at the same time every day can synchronize our natural body clock with the artificial clock.
We are exposed to light on a daily basis, and yet how little we have discovered about its effects! With the development of modern science, we are now starting to understand how light affects our general well-being and how it can be used to heal diseases and improve our quality of life.