Light therapy is beneficial for more than just one problem. Rather, it’s an all-in-one health and wellness treatment. It helps with skincare issues ranging from acne to wrinkles to eczema by supporting the mitochondria, which in return provokes better cell production within the body and targeted areas.
But another thing light therapy is proving to be powerful with is sleep. Sleeping disorders are more frequent than ever, with many people experiencing sleep disorders and, if not full disorder, struggle with achieving restful sleep.
Stress and anxiety build up through the day, and our addiction to our devices greatly disturbs our sleeping habits. However, a good night’s sleep is actually one of the most important things to maintain if you want optimal health.
While there are many types of sleep disorders—insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and narcolepsy—bright light therapy has proven to help reduce many of these conditions. In addition, its effects are also being studied on how they can help with Parkinson’s disease.
Sleep onset insomnia is one of the things light therapy can effectively treat. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep at a normal time. Though there are various reasons for insomnia, one problem stems from the advanced or delayed circadian rhythms.
There’s also advanced sleep phase disorder when you tend to feel sleepy in the late afternoon or early evening. Bedtime typically happens between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Early bedtime means you often wake up between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Light therapy here can help reset your internal clock in the early evening hours.
With delayed sleep phase disorder, you tend to stay up all night or at least a few hours, often past midnight. As a result, you also tend to wake up later in the morning, having lost a good chunk of your day. In this instance, light therapy in the morning, right after you’ve woken up, helps to advance your internal clock and makes you feel sleepy earlier in the evening, helping to adjust to a normal sleeping pattern.
And yet, light therapy treatment is proving to be the perfect solution.
In 2012, Light therapy was studied and found to be an effective nonpharmacological and non-invasive way of treating sleep disorders and improving sleep quality among elite female basketball players. Each participant within the research received14-30 minute light therapy sessions once every night for 14 nights in a row.
Research also showed improved melatonin levels among basketball players, and melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep. Players in return experienced improved endurance performance.
In later studies as well, light therapy has proved itself to be very effective. In 2013, a Taiwanese study looked at participants and their electroencephalography (EEG), which means they examined their electrical brain activity. They checked before, during, and after the light therapy simulation. The research suggested that light therapy is beneficial in helping people with sleep disorders. But these are the only studies that show the effectiveness of light therapy.
A study on the cognitive function of people with traumatic brain injury discovered that light therapy helped those people with their cognitive function. Light therapy helped decrease episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants also reported better sleep during the study.
New research from the University of Arizona Health Sciences discovered that with light therapy, people with migraines have a better chance of improving their sleep, plus act as a preventative measure for future migraines. Patients who were submitted to the research experienced better sleep and fewer headaches with light therapy.
Our minds have been occupied with a lot, with the pandemic, with people experiencing more hardships than before. Even if they’ve gotten used to it, the way of living has drastically changed. It’s no surprise that our sleep has also been affected by this. It’s reported that having bad dreams due to the ongoing pandemic isn’t anything too surprising nor impossible.
Growing evidence suggests that light therapy can help us improve the ability to fall asleep, remain asleep and get a good night’s all in one. In times when our dreams and sleep are invaded by negative feelings related to any upsetting and unsettling occurrence in our life, light therapy can help us ease our daily stressors and might help us avoid sleep-disturbing dreams.
That said, you want the right light therapy device to help you improve your sleep. Kayian medical produces MDA-certified and FDA-approved light therapy devices to ensure you get the most out of light therapy.