Bulbs in different colors deliver a rainbow of health benefits that make you feel strong, rested, and focused. Here’s how to activate their power.
Although light therapy is currently popular, its ability to reduce pain and combat depression has long been known. Before beginning a therapy or purchasing a light, read this primer on the effects of three different light colors. Different colors of lights have different therapeutic advantages.
Using blue light therapy for energy
According to study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, blue light exposure during the day can increase alertness and enhance reaction time, focus, and productivity. “Blue light is particularly sensitive to photo receptors in the eye, which connect to the brain regions that control attentiveness. Therefore, when blue light pen strikes them, the receptors cause certain brain regions to become active. making you more energized,” says Shadab A. Rahman, Ph.D., the study’s author.
Another benefit: According to a Swedish study from Uppsala University, exposure throughout the day may shield you against the disruptive effects of blue light at night. According to research author Frida Rngtell, “levels of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep, are lowered when you get a lot of intense light during the day.” “Evenings bring about a sharp rise in melatonin levels, whereas the effects of midnight blue light exposure diminish. “Put the blue-enriched Philips GoLite Blu Energy Light on your desk to increase productivity and protect sleep. . to get as much additional bright natural light, which contains blue rays, by sitting or standing by windows or going outside as often as you can each day.
Therapy with red light for healing
Red light can be used to relax before bed. According to Michael Breus, Ph.D., a member of the advisory board for SleepScore Labs, “the hue signifies that it’s night, which may urge the body to create melatonin.” At least 30 minutes before going to bed, turn on a lightbulb like the Lighting Science Good Night Sleep-Enhancing LED bulb ($18; lsgc.com).
Red light can also help you work out better. According to Ernesto Leal-Junior, Ph.D., the director of the Laboratory of Phototherapy in Sports and Exercise at Nove de Julho University in Brazil, just one to five minutes of exposure to red and infrared light before exercise increased strength and decreased soreness.
Red and infrared light with wavelengths between 660 and 905 nanometers can reach skeletal muscle tissue, causing the mitochondria to create more ATP, which is used as fuel by cells. There are red-light machines in some gyms. Alternatively, you might buy your own, such as the LightStim for Pain.
Green Light Therapy: For Pain Relief
According to a study published in the journal Pain, staring at green light can lessen chronic pain (such as that brought on by fibromyalgia or migraines) by up to 60%. Animal studies have also demonstrated that the positive effects can persist up to nine days. “The body appears to produce more of the pain-relieving, opioid-like compounds known as enkephalins when the green light is in view. Additionally, it lessens inflammation, which contributes to many illnesses pain conditions,” says researcher Mohab Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D.
Before doctors can recommend how and how frequently to use green light to cure migraines and other pain, further research is required. According to Dr. Ibrahim, you should contact a doctor before attempting to treat yourself at home. However, current research suggests that exposing yourself to green light for an hour or so every night, whether by using a green light bulb in a lamp or by donning glasses with tinted optical filters, may lessen migraines and other types of chronic pain.