We live in a 24-hour environment, in which light and darkness follow a diurnal pattern. Our circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus, is entrained to the 24-hour solar day via a pathway from the retina and synchronizes our internal biological rhythms. Once we come to this world, one of the first things we need, is food. Naturally, as mammals(from Latin mamma “breast”), we feed ourselves from the breast. But, Human breast milk is more than a meal — it’s also a clock, providing time-of-day information to infants. The composition of breast milk changes across the day, giving energizing morning milk a different cocktail of ingredients than soothing evening milk. Researchers believe this “chrononutrition” may help program infants’ emerging circadian biology, the internal timekeeper that allows babies to distinguish day from night.
What happens, though, when babies drink milk that does not come directly from the breast but is pumped at different times of the day and stored in advance of feeding? Scientists have rarely considered the potential effects of “mistimed” milk on infants’ development, but the implications are potentially far-reaching.
In the same way, rhythmic variations in ambient illumination impact behaviors such as rest during sleep and activity during wakefulness as well as their underlying biological processes. The availability of artificial light has substantially changed the light environment, especially during the evening and night hours. Phones, laptops, ipads, and more around the babies. This may increase the risk of developing circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders (CRSWD), which are often caused by a misalignment of endogenous circadian rhythms and external light-dark cycles. On the other hand, light can also be used as an effective and non-invasive therapeutic option with little to no side effects, to improve sleep, mood, and general well-being.
The architecture of the circadian system
The central master-clock in mammalian species is a paired structure in the hypothalamus with a volume of just about 0.25 mm3 per nucleus. Within the mammalian SCN, a molecular oscillator keeps the clock oscillating at its normal pace. The basis of this oscillator is two interconnected molecular feedback loops of clock gene expression, a detailed description of which is beyond the scope of this review though.
Successful interaction between body and environment however needs more than just a central clock; it also requires input pathways relaying information about the environment and the body to the SCN to achieve adequate entrainment as well as output pathways communicating timing information to the body to synchronize bodily processes with the circadian phase
Sleep, eating, and energy levels all show circadian rhythms, which means they follow a daily cycle. As any parent who has sleepwalked through a 3 a.m. feeding knows, infants are not born with these rhythms fully set. Instead, their sense of day and night develops over the first weeks and months of life, thanks to cues like sunlight and darkness.
Babies vary: Some show predictable circadian fluctuations in hormones linked with alertness, sleep, and appetite, and can sleep for long stretches shortly after birth, whereas others seem to have their daily rhythms upside-down for months. Delays in the development of circadian biology can increase the risk of colic and lead to growth and feeding problems.
Breast milk may help program infant circadian rhythms, helping to explain why some parents of newborns enjoy long full nights of sleep, whereas others struggle to get their infants on a schedule.
Breast milk changes dramatically over the course of the day. For example, levels of cortisol — a hormone that promotes alertness — are three times higher in morning milk than in evening milk. Melatonin, which promotes sleep and digestion, can barely be detected in daytime milk, but rises in the evening and peaks around midnight.
Night milk also contains higher levels of certain DNA building blocks which help promote healthy sleep. Day milk, by contrast, has more activity-promoting amino acids than night milk. Iron in milk peaks at around noon; vitamin E peaks in the evening. Minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, and sodium are all highest in the morning.
Daytime milk may pack a special immune punch. Among mothers who provided researchers with milk samples across the first month postpartum, immune components — including key antibodies and white blood cells — looked higher in day milk compared to night milk. Another study found higher levels of a component important for immune system communication in day milk compared to night milk.
While it’s clear that milk changes over the course of the day, scientists know little about what this means for infant health. Researchers do know that the hormones and immune components in breast milk are passed along to infants and that infants are starting to develop and refine their own circadian rhythms during the first months of life. It’s plausible that the chronosignals in breast milk would help to shape infants’ own circadian biology. Differences in infant feeding patterns might help explain why there’s such variability in the development of these daily rhythms from one infant to another.
Fundamentals of light
To understand the effects of light on human physiology, it is important to understand light. Briefly, light is radiation in a specific range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The spectrum of daylight, which is light from the sun filtered by the atmosphere is relatively broadband in its distribution. The availability of daylight depends on geographical location and season. In the timeframe of human evolution, it is a rather recent development that light can be available during all times of day through artificial light. Artificial light allows for illuminating indoor and outdoor spaces. It comes in many forms, e.g. incandescent, fluorescent, or light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.
While light generated by these technologies may all appear “white”, the underlying spectra are rather different.
The reason why many different types of spectra might have the same appearance lies in the retina. Critically, different spectra, even if they create the same visual impression, may vary in their chronobiological effects on the circadian clock.
Recently, the Commission International de l’Eclairage (CIE), the international standard body for quantities related to light, issued a new standard containing a reference framework for quantifying the effects of light on non-visual functions.
Effects of LED light on the circadian clock
Two effects of light have been interrogated extensively in human circadian and sleep research: (1) the acute suppression of melatonin in response to light exposure and (2) the ability of light exposure to shift circadian phase.
The system mediating melatonin suppression has a spectral sensitivity that is broadly consistent with the spectral sensitivity of melanopsin. Similarly, the spectral sensitivity of circadian phase-shifting shows its maximal effect near the peak spectral sensitivity of melanopsin.
The effects of light on the phase of the circadian clock depend on the timing of light exposure. This is formally summarised in the phase response curve (PRC), which describes the amount of phase shift (in minutes and hours) achieved by exposure of light at a given circadian phase. Roughly speaking, the effect of morning light is that it advances the clock, while evening and night light delays the clock.
Both melatonin suppression and circadian phase shifts are modulated by the “photic history”, i.e. the amount of light seen during the day. The long-term adaptive influences of the “spectral diet” in the real world remain an important area of investigation.
Effects of light on sleep
The human sleep-wake cycle, which is periods of sleep during the night and wakefulness during the day, is one of the most prominent examples of a circadian behavioral pattern, especially for babies. It results from the interaction between two factors: the circadian drive for wakefulness and the homeostatic sleep pressure. The activity of the circadian pacemaker is aligned to counteract the increasing sleep pressure resulting from sustained wakefulness during the daytime. Likewise, the nocturnal increase in circadian sleep tendency counteracts the decrease in sleep propensity resulting from accumulated sleep thereby supporting a consolidated phase of nocturnal sleep.
Breast milk, artificial lighting, smartphones, and visual display units
In addition to natural daylight, babies are nowadays also exposed to a considerable amount of artificial light. This is particularly the case in the evening hours, i.e. when the circadian system is most sensitive to light-induced phase delays. Thereby, light therapy is more efficient to delay the timing of the circadian clock and thus sleep.
Even thou, mothers can label their milk with the time it was pumped and coordinate infant feedings to offer morning milk in the morning, afternoon milk in the afternoon, and night milk at night, they keep the constant use of visual units around the baby. The use for the babies is not different, entertainment as well
So, which one is better?
Is always about finding the balance. Rather than only use one of the methods, the responsible practice of light therapy and adequate alimentation of your newborn should be combined to get on track the circadian system
Phototherapy, also known as light therapy, is widely known as a safe, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical treatment option for various conditions, including depression, joint and muscle conditions, skin disorders, and insomnia. Today, light therapy is an FDA-approved and MDASAP-approved cosmetic procedure for all skin conditions. It provides anti-inflammatory healing, increases collagen production, and reduces acne scars, giving the skin they always wanted.
The History of Light Therapy
While NASA was using this form of therapy in the 1960s, light therapy has been around for hundreds of years. Solariums existed in China around 6,000 BC. During that time, Chinese architects designed their homes facing the south so that sun would heat the interior of the home, a design practice still being used today. Families gather around the windows, absorbing as much sunlight as possible. It wasn’t long until solar-heated homes became a common practice in Greece and Rome.
But this is just a small opening into the history of light therapy. We’re going to dig a little deeper and show you how light therapy started, from the Chinese to the Greeks to today.
Light therapy originates back to the ancient Greeks. Heliopolis, the city of the sun, was known for its healing temples, which used sunlight spectrums to assist with specific medical issues. This is where heliotherapy, the exposure to light, comes from.
Socrates believed the ideal home should cool in the summer and warm in the winter, a concept we still believe today. However, 2,500 years ago, the Greeks didn’t have the heating systems we have today.
During that time, they would use wood to heat their homes and cook. Wood was also used for fuel, to build homes and ships. But it was destroying the local ecosystem. Plato compared the hills of Attica to the bones of a body. He said,
“ All the richer and softer parts have fallen away…..and the mere skeleton of the land remains.”
With wood damaging the local environment, the Greeks sourced wood further away. This resulted in the cost of fuel prices increasing. Luckily, they had an alternative option for energy which was the sun - and it was free.
Greeks took advantage of the sun and started to build their homes with the sun in mind. The homes faced the south, allowing access to the sun during winter. The citizens were ecstatic as it saved them money and resources.
Greeks fell in love with their solar-friendly homes. Theophrastus, a naturalist, commented that Greeks believed,
the sun provides life-sustaining heat in animals and plants. It also probably supplies the heat of earthly flames. They believed they were catching the sun when making fire.
Exposure to natural sunlight became known as an important element to a healthy life. Oribasius, an ancient medical authority, stated that south-facing homes were healthy places to live in due to their exposure to the sun.
Dr. Niels Finsen, a Danish physician and scientist, received a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1903 for his contributions in treating lupus vulgaris and other illnesses via concentrated light radiation.
His award and recognition opened up endless possibilities for light therapy in the medical industry. Finsen discussed the use of ‘chemical rays of light’ in 1896. When he said ‘chemical light,’ he meant ionizing light, such as ultraviolet rays.
Decades of research proved that light therapy produced therapeutic benefits for living tissue. In the 1960s, in Europe, single wavelengths through photo-stimulation had therapeutic effects on tissue. An example is the practice of light therapy on newborns with jaundice.
1980s - 1990s
Light therapy gained popularity from the 1980s to 1990s, with more clinics and medical facilities seeing the benefits of light therapy to treat conditions and illnesses. The cosmetic benefits of light therapy became recognized during this period of time.
Professional athletes discovered light therapy as an ideal option for sports-related injuries as well. Research showed that an injured person who undergoes light therapy recovers 50 times faster than a person who doesn’t.
The development of red light therapy became unstoppable by the early 2000s. More companies jumped on board to produce light therapy devices for medical and aesthetic purposes. The devices come in varying lights and sizes to help aid specific conditions. Some research also found that red light therapy combined with topical cream can kill specific cancer cells.
We hope this quick background on the roots of light therapy has given you more insight into its effectiveness as a solution for clinical and aesthetic treatment. If you’re considering your own private label, we’re more than happy to explore this journey with you.
Here at Kaiyan Medical, we ensure all our red light therapy devices are FDA-certified and MDASAP-approved, ensuring you the safest products for professional use. To learn more about our light therapy products and devices, contact our team.
Solar energy — History. 2. Architecture and solar radiation — History. I. Perlin, JohnJoint author. II. Title.
A GOLDEN THREAD- 2500 YEARS OF SOLAR ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY by KEN BUTTI, JOHN PERLIN
A popularity boom has occurred over red light therapy, especially on social media, which has brought more attention to this form of treatment and more skeptics.
However, LED light therapy isn't a new invention; it's been around for centuries. The U.S. Navy SEAL even started using light therapy to aid in healing wounds and muscle regeneration.
Since then, light therapy has been researched for its various effects, most notably for its non-invasive capabilities in the skincare industry.
Light therapy comes in different wavelengths and light depending on the desired treatment. These wavelengths can come in red, blue, purple, amber, or green light, which do not contain UV rays that are easily absorbed into the skin.
Different than Daylight
In comparison to ultraviolet rays, which are cancer-causing and damages the skin's DNA, red light therapy "is perfectly safe," said Dr. Susan Bard, board-certified New York dermatologist.
When undergoing red light therapy, no tanning or burning of the skin will occur. Its effects happen at the cellular level, rather than the surface level.
All living organisms need to produce ATP cellular energy to function and survive, meaning all organisms rely on natural light to power their bodies. Red and near-infrared wavelengths stimulate the cells' mitochondria - the cell's powerhouse - which takes the oxygen, light, and food we eat, turning it into energy for our bodies.
Uses of Red Light
Red light therapy has been proven to treat or improve the following:
Muscle and joint pain
Enhance athletic performance
Cancer therapy side effects
Michael R. Hamblin, Ph.D., principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School said, “The number of conditions red light can treat is ‘continuously expanding.”
The Short Version
Light therapy transports safe, non-pharmaceutical concentrated wavelengths of natural light into your body's cells without the use of excessive heat or UV rays. Red and near-infrared wavelengths of light stimulate the cell's mitochondria, reducing oxidative stress and increasing circulation, allowing your body to create more natural energy.
At Kaiyan Medical, we believe in the power of light and healing without chemicals. With our light therapy devices, we achieve in making you the best version of yourself.
You want your baby to start living healthy and happy. However, things happen, and your baby can potentially become sick. Jaundice is one of the most common conditions that affect newborn babies, and it’s estimated 6 out of every 10 babies develop jaundice.
Jaundice is usually a harmless condition in newborns that causes yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. This condition occurs when there’s a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Biliburn is a yellow substance produced during the normal breakdown process of the red blood cells. The liver removes bilirubin from the blood in children and adults, passing it through the bowels and exiting the body.
However, a newborn baby’s liver cannot remove bilirubin as easily as an adult. This can create a build-up of bilirubin if the newborn has problems processing it and passing it through the body.
While most jaundice cases go away on their own, some newborns need help to lower bilirubin levels in the body.
What Causes Jaundice?
Jaundice can occur in a newborn for different reasons:
Physiological jaundice: the most common reason for jaundice in newborns is due to an immature liver. Jaundice usually occurs 2 to 3 days of age, disappears one week or two, and is harmless.
Breastfeeding jaundice: breastfeeding jaundice can occur when the newborn doesn’t consume enough breastmilk. It occurs in 5-10% of newborns.
Breast-milk jaundice: breast-milk jaundice occurs in 1-2% of breast-fed babies. It happens when some mothers produce a specific substance in their breastmilk. This substance causes the newborn’s intestines to absorb the bilirubin back into the body. This usually occurs within the first week of birth and goes away within two weeks - it’s not harmful.
Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): if the newborn and mother have different blood types, the mother can produce antibodies that can destroy the newborn’s red blood cells. It causes an immediate buildup of bilirubin in the newborn’s body, occurring during the first 24-hours of life. It’s a severe form of jaundice.
How Is Jaundice Diagnosed?
Doctors can easily spot a baby with jaundice based on the yellowing of the skin and the whites of their eyes. Typically, newborns are checked for jaundice prior to leaving the hospital.
Babies who contract jaundice undergo blood tests to check for bilirubin levels. High levels of bilirubin have the potential to become serious.
Treatments for Jaundice
Most cases of jaundice disappear within a week or two of treatment. However, some cases are quite serious and need to undergo treatment.
Light treatment aids with eliminating bilirubin in the blood. The baby’s skin absorbs the wavelengths, altering bilirubin which can pass easily through their bowels.
Phototherapy treatment has long been used to treat jaundice, with a row of lights or a spotlight directed at the undressed newborn from a healthy distance. Two soft eye patches are applied over the eyes for protection. Luckily, today’s technology of phototherapy can deliver effective treatment without any of the former inconveniences.