Do you feel down, sad, depressed, or anxious during the fall in winter months? Or do you experience difficulty in sleep and feel low energy? Then it might be the symptoms of (SAD) also called seasonal affective disorder, which is also called winter blues or seasonal depression. It’s a type of depression that, occurs in specific time zones of the year, especially in the winter months. Women are more likely to face (SAD) than men, maybe because of a female reproductive biological system.
But, no worries! Cause, light therapy (LED) is here to solve several mental problems, especially, seasonal affective disorder sad and other depression. So, what actually is light (LED) therapy? And how it works? Let’s find out, in this ultimate blog.
What is light therapy LED?
Light therapy is also called phototherapy or bright light therapy, and (LED) is short for light emitting diode. It’s actually an effective treatment for a variety of skin problems, wrinkles, acne, energy level, psoriasis, and mental disorders especially, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) this therapy can also be helpful for other forms of mental depression such as sleep disorders and other conditions.
How does light therapy LED works?
Firstly, it’s important to understand how light affects our body. Well, exposure to light especially, the natural sunlight helps to regulate bodies circadian rhythm, which is our internal clock that, controls our sleep-wake cycle and other biological processes. But, when we don’t get enough light, our circadian rhythm can become disrupted, which can lead to symptoms of mental depression and other mood disorders.
Light therapy is based on the principle that different wavelengths of different types of light, can affect the body’s different types of biological chemical reactions.
LED light emits specific wavelengths of light that, can penetrate the skin and can activate specific biological processes. The wave lengths of LED light are measured in nanometers nm and each wavelength cause different effect on the body.
There are few forms of light therapy, including:
- Red light therapy.
- Blue light therapy.
- UV light therapy.
- Green light therapy.
These forms of light have different wavelengths and each affects differently in the body, as mentioned above.
On the other hand, blue light therapy uses a wavelength between 400 nm to 450 nm nanometers, which can penetrate the skin in about one or 2 ml, and blue light therapy is beneficial because, it kills the bacteria that form acne, it also reduces inflammation and improves skin structure and tone.
And as mentioned, light therapy LED is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, which also include: chronic pain, psoriasis, seasonal affective disorder SAD, and other types of mental depression.
Light therapy LED works by providing artificial light that mimics natural sunlight. The beauty of light therapy is that, it’s super simple and portable, you just have to plug on, the lightbox or lamp and sit in front of it with the position mentioned in the instruction. And this therapy typically involves sitting in front of a light box for amount of a time in a day, usually in the morning, each session can last from 10 to 30 minutes, you have to sit a few inches away from the light box, at least around 1 to 2 feet away or less, it depends on the light therapy device you have.
Therefore, it’s important to read the proper manufacturing instructions before using your light therapy. And remember, you have to use eye protection goggles for the safety of your eyes because, the LED light is brighter, which can impact your eyes.
The light from a light therapy LED box is typically between 2500 to 10,000 Lux, which is much brighter than, indoor lightning. This bright light therapy is believed to help reset bodies circadian rhythm, evaluate SADly, and can improve overall depression and mood.
To achieve maximum benefits, aim to sit in front of a light box in an appropriate position, around one to 2 feet away for 30 minutes a session, you have to make sure that you are exposed at least to 10,000 Lux of light intensity, which is a required dose for optimal results, and Lux is a measurement that, quantifies the unit of light intensity. It’s just like, giving a boost of vitamin D to your body, without any doses of drugs.
But how exactly does light affect the brain and body? One research is that light stimulates the production of serotonin in neuro transmitter that, is associated with happy feelings and the well-being of human emotions. Exposure to light helps to suppress the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that is associated with sleepiness and fatigue. And by regulating these two biochemicals, LED light therapy can help to improve mood, increase energy level and improve overall sleep quality.
History of light therapy LED?
The Faroese physician Neil Finsen was known as the father of modern phototherapy because he developed artificial light for his use. Later on, in 1903 he got a Nobel prize, in medicine, for the use of light therapy.
Well, it was first known as phototherapy, research proceed by the 1960s it is now referred to as, light therapy (LED) or LEDT, which was primarily used in East Europe to treat chronic disease, wound healing, and reduce pain, and mental depression. Since gaining recognition as a therapy, in the 1980s, light therapy has been the first-line treatment for SAD which impacts women more often than, men.
No one really knows, why? SAD occurs in women, maybe because, of the female’s biological reproductive system and lack of sunlight exposure.
What does the Scientific research says?
Research of light therapy, you might be wondering, does light therapy actually works? And the answer is a resounding yes! Because, numerous studies have resulted in positive and effective treatments for Low energy, mood, laziness, depression overall sleep quality, and other forms of depression.
Researchers believe that SAD is triggered due to, a lack of natural sunlight, especially in winter months, when the days are shorter. Research shows that, lower levels of serotonin are associated with depression and that light therapy is an effective treatment.
In fact, a study shows that benefits seemed in just one session, which was typically last from 15 to 60 minutes.
Another study found positive and effective results, in 20 minutes of one session. However, the optimal duration for lightbox sessions is 40 minutes daily for a course of several weeks.
Research has also founded several benefits and improvements after sessions of light box therapy, such improvements included: an increase in energy, better concentration, good mood, alertness, attention, and other markers of depression.
Additionally, while, light therapy is currently taught to treat SAD but, it’s also increasingly being used to treat several types of depression and mood disorders with promising results.
In fact, studies also show, that bright light therapy is fast and effective for non-forms of affective disorders such as major depressive disorder MDD. Studies have also shown that light therapy can provide promising relief from the symptoms of depression including low energy, disinterest in socializing, and poor concentration.
In addition to its mental health benefits, therapy also helps in improving jet lag and regulating the natural sleep-wake cycle.
The benefits of LED light therapy?
Well, we have already discussed numerous benefits of LED light therapy, claiming with scientific research. Now, let’s take a look at its few more benefits.
The LED light therapy is simple to use, just like turning on the bulb, there is no complicated setup or fancy equipment needed. With user-friendly availability, you can easily integrate therapy into your routine without any hassle. All it needs is just a few minutes of shining bright light on your body.
Portability where ever you go.
Wish you could take the sunshine where ever you roam? Well, LED, light therapy has got you covered, with its portable nature, you can acquire its benefits and harness the power of like therapy where ever you go. Because, it comes in different sizes, and shapes and in portable Devices from compound face mask LED devices, handheld devices, wands,s and more.
LED light therapy starts working faster than, other forms of treatment, as noted above that, people have reported faster and instant results, feeling generally better and enhancing mood, in just one or few sessions.
As mentioned above, light therapy is a great option for seasonal affective disorder. In addition, to SAD, light therapy also helps to treat a variety of other conditions like.
- Adjusting to a night shift work schedule.
- A variety of sleep disorders.
- Jet lag.
- Non-seasonal depression.
Are there any side effects of LED light therapy?
The surprising thing about LED light therapy is, it is considered to be completely safe, if there are any side effects, there are minimum or mild. Only a few people have faced minimum side effects and it lasts for only a few minutes or less.
The report of side effects of light therapy include headaches, eyestrain, nausea, and irritability. Well, as mentioned, these side effects last temporary, and are minimum or mild. Therefore, using eye protection goggles can make you safer and it’s also recommended in the manufacturing instructions.
Who should avoid using LED light therapy?
People who face disorders such as eye conditions like, macular degeneration or photosensitive skin are considered not good candidates for this therapy.
What is the price or cost for LED light therapy?
There are diverse devices that come in different sizes and shapes and each has a different length so, it’s important to consult with your medical doctors and seek help, which kind of light therapy is best for you and suits your skin. Light therapy prices come from $25 and go around $300 and more.
Is it right for you?
If you have sleep issues, another type of depression, or SAD seasonal affective disorder then, light therapy is a great option for you. Well, it’s also important to talk to your medical doctors and consult with them,
Tips for maximizing benefits of LED light therapy?
You can use these tips, to embrace light therapy power and gain its affective benefits.
1: Start in morning.
Create your morning schedule and start your light session in the morning, within a few hours after you wake up. Research has also shown that exposure to light in the morning can effectively help in regulating bodies internal clock and overall mood.
2: Set up sufficient timing.
You have to set sufficient timing in a day for each light therapy session. It should last 20 minutes and you also have to consult with your healthcare provider.
3: Combined with other treatment.
Well, light therapy is beneficial on its own, it’s often more effective if it’s combined with other conjunctions of treatment or therapies. You should talk to your consular or healthcare providers that, how you can incorporate light therapy within other types of treatment, such as meditation, exercise, and similar.
A word from healing red light.
LED light therapy is the most beneficial and remarkable technology out there, with its treatment of the SAD seasonal affective disorder, and other types of depression, improving mental moods, improving energy, feeling better and happy, surely, results that it’s a super useful device. With the ability of portable nature and simplicity, light therapy can be easily used on the go, and with proper guidelines from your medical doctor or healthcare provider, you can achieve maximum results and can incorporate it into your daily life.