How red light therapy can benefit your productivity and sleep (at home)
Red light therapy is a godsend to people seeking answers to a vast range of health and beauty issues.
But, aside from the more physically apparent benefits, did you know that red light therapy can also help your sleep quality and your productivity levels?
Here’s how it works.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy uses different variations of red light (from yellow/amber tones to near infra-red light) to encourage your body’s cells to produce more energy at a quicker rate. This makes them much better able to repair and renew themselves.
These days, RLT is used for a variety of treatments, including (but not limited to):
- Anti-aging (reducing wrinkles and fine lines)
- Skin improvements (psoriasis, acne, complexion)
- Faster wound and injury healing
- Hair regrowth for hair loss treatment
- Alleviating symptoms of depression
But, most pertinent to this article, RLT has been clinically proven to improve brain function and sleep quality.
How does red light therapy work?
Red light therapy works by creating wavelengths of red light that penetrate the skin.
Within the skin tissue, the red light encourages the mitochondria of the cell to produce more ATP (cell energy). The cells can then reproduce, repair, and renew at a much faster and stronger rate.
This leads to faster tissue repair, collagen increases, and reduced inflammation, leading to many of the typical benefits associated with red light therapy.
The effects of light on sleep
Our sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm. The light our body is exposed to can have huge ramifications on our ability to fall asleep and the quality of the sleep we get.
Blue light is notoriously bad for sleep quality. But, as we spend so much time on our screens and devices these days, we’re exposed to it a lot more. Blue light disrupts our body’s recognition of darkness as a trigger for sleep.
However, red light, by mimicking the setting sun to our bodies, can help to trigger the natural circadian rhythm that indicates to our bodies that it’s time to shut down for the night.
RLT and improved sleep
There are many clinical studies out there studying the impact of red light therapy on sleep. For example, one study showed a vast reduction in headaches and sleep issues in migraine sufferers.
Another study showed that red and near infra-red light exposure in short sessions before sleep increased the melatonin levels of participants in the study.
Melatonin is the hormone that helps to regulate our sleep cycles. In fact, it’s often recommended to try a combination of natural melatonin supplements with red light therapy to treat conditions such as insomnia.
RLT and ATP production
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule that is produced in our cells and is responsible for carrying energy around our bodies. It is made by the mitochondria, which is often referred to as the “powerhouse” of our cells.
Red light therapy has been proven to stimulate our mitochondria into producing more ATP. This is why it has been shown to increase physical performance and boost energy levels, among it’s many other benefits.
Improved productivity and brain function
Several studies have been conducted to see how red light therapy and the associated ATP production might affect brain function. And the results are incredible.
In one 2014 study, researchers studied people with traumatic brain injuries and noted that red light significantly improved their cognitive function.
There are also reports that red light therapy has the potential to combat episodes that result from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
DIY red light therapy
The good news for those seeking to improve their sleep or productivity is that you can even use red light therapy at home.
There are devices available for use in the home that are built for a variety of specific uses related to red light therapy. Check this review of red light therapy devices to learn more about how you can use RLT at home.
Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep – and no one can argue with the amazing life, health, and beauty benefits good sleep can provide! So, if you’re struggling to catch enough “z’s”, give red light therapy a try.