Have you ever experienced feeling down when the days seem shorter and the temperature gets colder? Like many people, you’re probably experiencing the symptoms of what they commonly call winter blues. Some people feel those so-called winter blues when they are less exposed to sunlight during the cold season. While this feeling is short-lived, mild, and less serious, it can turn severe for some people and lead to a medical condition called seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
One of the best treatments against SAD or the winter blues is light therapy. For starters, light therapy is the process of sitting in front of a special therapy lamp or box as you let your skin absorb the light to reap its health benefits. This therapy lamp or box emits about 10,000 LUX to imitate sunshine, provide your body with vitamin D, and boost melatonin and serotonin levels.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Light Therapy?
But aside from treating your winter blues and SAD, did you know that light therapy offers other numerous health benefits in your everyday life? Whether you’re living in an area with less sunlight or are thinking of whether your body needs more sunlight, here are seven health benefits of light therapy that might help you decide on investing in the treatment for yourself.
1. Light Therapy Promotes Faster And More Efficient Healing
If you have cuts, injuries or frequently suffer from cold sore outbreaks, one way to promote faster healing is light therapy. Cold sores are prevalent in people of any age, and they’re often triggered by reasons, such as:
- Infection from the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1)
- Hormonal changes
Light therapy enhances your body’s production of serotonin hormones, which are responsible for healing wounds and preventing cold sore outbreaks in the future. You can also read for more tips here or from other reliable sources about using light therapy for treating cold sores and other body injuries.
2. Light Therapy Increases Your Energy
Another essential health benefit of light therapy is increasing your body’s energy. As you expose yourself for 20 to 30 minutes in front of the therapy lamp or box, your body’s serotonin levels shoot up, leading to a rise in energy levels. This is useful especially for people who often feel less energetic and are less active during the winter season.
3. Light Therapy Improves Sleep Quality
Besides boosting your serotonin levels, light therapy helps in expanding your body’s melatonin production. Your melatonin hormones are responsible for regulating your body’s circadian rhythm, which is also known as the sleep-wake cycle. With higher melatonin levels, you’ll less likely experience sleep disorders and will get to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
To increase your melatonin levels, make it a habit to sit in front of the light therapy lamp in the morning or at any appropriate time of the day that will sync with your desired sleep schedule.
4. Light Therapy Uplifts Your Moods And Protects Overall Mental Health
When winter blues are left untreated, you may experience severe conditions, like seasonal depression and other mood disorders, as mentioned earlier. Through light therapy, the special lamp will mimic the sunshine, which will help boost your serotonin levels and improve your moods.
Furthermore, you can use light therapy to protect your mental health, especially if you’re constantly working in an environment that restricts you from getting sun exposure, such as factories and closed offices. With light therapy, you can still enjoy ample light exposure that will help you manage your moods and prevent potential mental health disorders.
5. Light Therapy Leads To Better Focus
Another benefit of having higher serotonin levels brought by light therapy is enhancing your ability to focus. Since you have higher serotonin levels, your body has more energy to spike your concentration, and, in turn, improve your productivity. As a result, it’ll be easier for you to get your tasks done and, at the same time, stay in a good mood.
6. Light Therapy Encourages Healthy Eating Habits
With a healthier amount of serotonin caused by light therapy, it’ll be easier for your body to regulate your digestion and appetite. This is important, especially for people who constantly suffer from irregular bowel movements or have problems with their eating habits.
Light therapy influences your eating behavior the same way it affects your circadian rhythm. Furthermore, according to a study, light therapy helps lessen symptoms of eating disorders.
7. Light Therapy Reduces Anxiety
Not only does a higher melatonin production lead to better sleep quality but also helps reduce anxiety. This will be useful for people who are constantly troubled or stressed out due to their jobs, studies, or other daily responsibilities.
Overall, light therapy provides numerous health benefits. However, keep in mind that it’ll only be effective when combined with other healthy practices, such as eating healthy and exercising regularly. So, get in touch with a health professional and let them help you select the right light therapy lamp for you.