Quality sleep is vital for your health & wellness, but we don’t get enough.
Quality sleep is the foundation of a vital, healthy life. Not getting enough sleep can lower your sex drive, weaken your immune system, cause mental clarity issues, and lead to weight gain. If you find yourself part of this no-sleep category, you’re not the only one. Approximately 1 in 3 American adults isn’t getting enough sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine . So the question is, what can you do to improve your sleep?
Different types of light play a huge role in your ability to sleep.
The light our body is exposed to can have huge ramifications on our circadian rhythm, and thus our ability to properly regulate sleep. Blue light is notoriously bad for circadian rhythm and sleep quality. It is well established that blue light suppresses melatonin, raises cortisol and disrupts sleep, but what does red light do?
Red light therapy can help improve your sleep and regulate your circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm dictates when you feel tired, when you feel alert, when you’re hungry, and other bodily processes. Scientists call it your circadian rhythm because it roughly follows the same 24-hour cycle as the sun. By exposing your eyes to light similar to sunlight, red and near-infrared light therapy helps realign your circadian rhythm with the patterns of the sun. As a result, you feel more tired in the evening, as sunlight lowers, and more awake in the morning when the sun rises.
Clinical research for using red light therapy for sleep optimization is early, but compelling.
Using a red light therapy device in the evening before bed can regulate your natural circadian rhythm to help you fall asleep faster and encourage deep, restful sleep. Unlike artificial blue light from room lighting and digital screens, red light helps the mind and body to wind down and encourage the production of the sleep hormone melatonin .
“We’re only scratching the surface of what light can do,” says Shadab Rahman, Ph.D., an instructor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School .
The science of red light therapy for better sleep.
During a light therapy session, your eyes’ retinal cells perceive the light from the light therapy device, affecting certain chemicals in your brain , including serotonin (the feel good chemical) and melatonin (the sleep chemical). The perception of light in the morning delays your brain’s melatonin production, waking you up and lifting your mood . Using light therapy in the morning, similar to natural sunlight, suppresses melatonin (the sleep hormone) and gives you the energy to start the day.
How red light therapy works.
Red light therapy works by delivering your body the natural light that it needs to function at its best. Red light therapy is able to penetrate deep into the human body. Once in the deeper tissues, red and near-infrared light have incredible healing effects on the cells – leading to reduced inflammation, enhanced energy production, cellular regeneration and anti-aging, and much more.
A red light therapy device does not emit UV rays or heat, rather it emits a select spectrum of wavelengths called red and near-infrared light that is able to penetrate deeply into your skin. When the light is absorbed by your cells, this stimulates your mitochondria to function more efficiently and get you back to optimal health.
Red light therapy has been shown to increase the sleep hormone, melatonin.
Red light therapy is used as a sleep aid to treat insomnia and other sleeping disorders, and can be used as a nighttime light source because of its low color temperature. There is some research suggesting that red/NIR light can impact melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced primarily by the pineal gland in the brain, and even most non-scientists are somewhat familiar with melatonin for its role in promoting sleep. Unlike artificial blue light from room lighting and digital screens, red light helps the mind and body to wind down and encourage the production of the sleep hormone melatonin [6,7].
A recent clinical study in the Journal of Athletic Training found that 30 minutes of red-light exposure improved sleep and melatonin levels . Chinese researchers found that appeared to improve sleep quality in a group of athletes. “The study confirmed the effectiveness of body irradiation with red light in improving the quality of sleep of elite female basketball players and offered a non-pharmacologic and noninvasive therapy to prevent sleep disorders after training” according to the researchers.
A more recent study in Nature and Science of Sleep found a positive correlation between red-light exposure and reduced sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is that hard-to-shake groggy feeling upon waking, which is another common side effect of chronic sleep deprivation .
How to use red light therapy to improve your sleep.
Using red light therapy is simple and easy for sleep optimization and can be done in either the morning or the evening.
In the morning: Using red light therapy in the morning, similar to the sunrise, suppresses melatonin (the sleep hormone) and gives you the energy to start the day.
In the evening: Using red light therapy in the evening at least 60 minutes before bed (1-2 hours before seems to be optimal). The red light calms your body and mind with the soothing wavelengths that mimic a sunset, helping you wind down and prepare for a restful night's sleep.
Which light therapy device is best for skin health?
When it comes to selecting effective light therapy for better sleep, it comes down to personal preference. Vital Red Light offers a variety of light therapy devices for specific lifestyles, needs, and budgets.
Below are Vital Red Light devices that will make the difference for your health:
Vital Charge (handheld light therapy)
Vital Pro (best seller)
Vital Elite (full body light therapy)
Vital Red Light therapy devices are safe, effective, and all natural. They enhance your health from the inside out, bringing you closer to your health, wellness, and sleep goals. Take a wellness cue from celebrities, pro athletes, & thousands more.
Sources and References.
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