Lack of sleep is a villain in America and Europe. Light intake is a big part of the problem. Over 65% of adults say they don’t get enough good sleep every week. Most people also don’t get nearly enough natural light for optimal health: the average American spends over 90% of their time indoors.
In addition to not getting enough natural light, people today are surrounded by artificial blue light from screens and overhead lighting. An overload of artificial blue light can cause headaches and make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. When we take in all that bright blue light from laptops, TVs, and phones, especially before we go to bed, our bodies get the signal that it's time to be awake, even if we're tired.
Melatonin is the naturally-occurring hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Emerging research is showing that red light therapy treatments can help people produce more of their own, natural melatonin than exposure to other light sources like blue light. Red light therapy is natural light. It’s much less bright than blue light, with a lower color temperature than daytime sun, as the image above shows. Research has shown that red light doesn’t upset your sleep cycle like bright blue light. Red light therapy is showing great clinical results for people with insomnia and sleep disorders.
The light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers concentrated natural light to your skin and cells. Clinical research is showing that red light therapy can improve sleep quality and duration, and help people produce more of their own melatonin.
Light plays a major role in your sleep cycle. The body’s circadian clock interprets light as a sign of when to sleep and when to be awake. Artificial blue light from phones, computers, and other screens is extremely bright and can knock your circadian rhythm out of whack. Red light has the opposite effect: it’s ideal for evenings because it has a low color temperature—far lower than blue light and much closer to the natural sunset.
Red light therapy treatments are quick and simple: you just sit or stand in natural light for 5 to 15 minutes, ideally every day. This stimulates your mitochondria and gives your cells the natural light they need to make energy.
How Does Red Light Therapy Help You Sleep?
Natural light is a key ingredient for a healthy circadian rhythm and restful sleep. If you struggle to sleep, your light intake could be a big factor. Red light therapy delivers natural light like you’d get from the sun, but without UV rays, excess heat, or the need for sunny weather.
Red light therapy treatments supercharge your cells with the natural light they need to make more core ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy. This helps your body run more efficiently, heal faster, and has shown great results for producing more natural melatonin and improving sleep disorders like insomnia.
Red light therapy treatments have shown great sleep results in a range of peer-reviewed clinical studies. One study on the sleep of pro basketball players showed that a 2-week course of red light therapy in the evening improved players’ sleep quality in the short term. Based on the results, the researchers suggested red light therapy would be a good non-invasive, drug-free solution to sleep struggles.
Overcoming Sleep Disorders with Red Light Therapy
Kaiyan's light therapy products are registered with the FDA as class II medical devices for the treatment of pain, strain, and inflammation. While the existing clinical research has been very positive for red light therapy and sleep, keep in mind that Kaiyan's devices are not cleared with the FDA for the treatment of various sleep disorders or melatonin.
Recent research on sleep disorders among people with migraine headaches has shown that red light therapy both decreased headache frequency, and was the only treatment that improved patients’ sleep disorders.
A 2014 study on cognitive function and traumatic brain injury (TBI) recorded that participants had significantly decreased episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and improved sleep.
Analyzing patients’ electrical brain activity, a 2013 sleep study concluded that red light therapy was especially effective at helping people with sleep disorders fall asleep.
When I’m indoors training under the buzz of artificial lights, my body doesn’t get the natural light it needs. Add computers, cell phones, televisions, etc. and it’s easy to overload yourself with blue light. I used to have trouble sleeping after long training days, but since adding more natural light to my routine with red light therapy, I’ve been falling asleep as soon as I lie down, and I’ve been staying asleep all night.*
Gold-Medal Winning Dutch Gymnast
Red Light Therapy, Sleep, Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Research is showing how closely mood and sleep disorders are interconnected. Parts of the brain that regulate sleep have also been found to closely affect mood. A 2013 review concluded that “nearly all people suffering from mood disorders have significant disruptions in circadian rhythms and the sleep/wake cycle.”
This Greatist post on natural light and serotonin gives good background on the connections between natural light intake, mental health, and sleep. It also mentions using Kaiyan's red light therapy devices to get more natural light, even when you can’t get more sunlight.
Trouble sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression most common in the darker winter months. Some physicians treating patients with mental health disorders have said red light therapy both improves mood, and helps people with depression get better sleep.
Sources and References:
Morita T., Tokura H. “ Effects of lights of different color temperature on the nocturnal changes in core temperature and melatonin in humans” Journal of Physiological Anthropology. 1996, September
Klepeis N., Nelson W., et al. “The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants”. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2001.
Sheppard A and Wolffsohn J. “Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration.” BMJ Open Ophthalmology. 2018 April.
Gooley, J., Chamberlain, K., Smith, K., Khalsa, S., et al. “Exposure to Room Light before Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar.
Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation”. AIMS Biophys. 2017.
Zhao J., Tian Y., Nie J., Xu J., Liu D. “Red light and the sleep quality and endurance performance of Chinese female basketball players” Journal of Athletic Training. 2012, November-December.
Loeb LM, Amorim RP, et al. “Botulinum toxin A (BT-A) versus low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in chronic migraine treatment: a comparison.” Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria. 2018 Oct;76(10):663-667.
Naeser MA, Zafonte R, et al. “Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study.” Journal of Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun 1;31(11):1008-17.
Wu JH, Chang YC. Effect of low-level laser stimulation on EEG power in normal subjects with closed eyes. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013; 2013:476565.
Vadnie C, and McClung C. Circadian Rhythm Disturbances in Mood Disorders: Insights into the Role of the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Neural Plasticity. 2017 November.
McClung C. How might circadian rhythms control mood? Let me count the ways. Biological Psychiatry. 2013 April.
Nutt D, Wilson S, et al. Sleep disorders as core symptoms of depression. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2008 September.
Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013.
Migraine is a neurological condition that can cause multiple symptoms. It’s frequently characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines often run in families and affect all ages.
People describe migraine pain as:
Migraine symptoms may begin one to two days before the headache itself. This is known as the prodrome stage. Symptoms during this stage can include:
Fatigue or low energy
LED Green Light: a Novel, Non-Invasive, and Non-Pharmacological Therapy.
The effects of green light on the brain have been researched and well-documented for years. The green light can reset the circadian rhythm through melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycles. A special photoreceptor system in the human eye picks up light and elicits non-visual responses, sending signals to the brain to reset the body’s internal clock and altering melatonin production levels.
Long-time sufferers of migraines and other chronic pain conditions may benefit from exposure to LED green light. A new study, led by pharmacologist Mohab M. Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D., found that the color green may be key to easing pain.
Ibrahim’s interest in studying the ameliorating effects of green light was inspired by his brother, who has dealt with severe headaches for several years. Instead of taking ibuprofen, his brother would sit in his garden and soak up the verdure of nature to ease the pain from his headaches.
“I wanted to see what is in his garden or in a garden, in general, that would make headaches better,” said Ibrahim, director of the Chronic Pain Management Clinic at Banner — University Medical Center Tucson.
In his clinical practice, Ibrahim also saw that his patients suffering from migraines and fibromyalgia had limited treatment options, and wanted to find a novel, non-invasive, nonpharmacological therapy.
In his study, which has yet to be published, Ibrahim exposed 25 migraine volunteers first to white lights for two hours as a control, then to green LED lights. He measured multiple parameters, including pain reduction, frequency of migraines or headaches, frequency of fibromyalgia flare-ups, pain intensity and duration, and quality of life.
On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no pain and 10 the highest level of pain, migraine volunteers had an initial average baseline pain score of 8. After completing the green light therapy, their score dropped down to an average of 2.8. The frequency of headaches dropped from 19 to 6.5 per month, and the overall quality of life climbed from 48 percent to 78 percent.
“The best part about it … is the simplicity, the affordability and, most importantly, the lack of side effects,” Ibrahim said. “It’s a normal light. We’re not using a high-energy laser or anything like that.”
But if pain works through the nervous system, how exactly can green light, which works through the visual system, make people feel better?
New studies show that there are neuronal connections that span from the retina all the way to the spinal cord, passing through the parts of the brain that control and modulate pain. Green light changes the levels of serotonin and alters the endogenous opioid system, an innate pain-relieving system found throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system, said Bing Liao, M.D., a neurologist at Houston Methodist Hospital.
“The endogenous opioid system … allows the body to generate something similar to opioids and gives us a sensation of pain relief and happy feeling,” Liao said. “Research has found that, with green light, the receptors of the endogenous opioid system can increase production in the brain and body, and the hormone by itself can increase in production, as well. … It might be an explanation for why people feel good when they’re in a green environment.”
While more studies must be done to test the efficacy of green light therapy as a treatment for chronic pain, Ibrahim said he is trying to advance this therapy as a complement to current therapies.
“What this green light therapy offers is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological additional tool, so it might help reduce opioids,” he said. “I don’t think it will eliminate opioids, but at least it may reduce it enough. It may provide people just with extra help or extra relief so that they may not need the number of opioids that they’re on.”
We’ve all been in the search to help us achieve perfect skin. But is it just a dream, or can it really be achieved? It looks like having light shined on your face may be the most important part of your skin routine.
Red light’s anti-inflammatory and collagen-building effects on the skin have been documented for years, showing its healing abilities. However, light therapy is branching out, including other light spectrums such as green, blue, purple, and amber, for different healing abilities.
Ellen Marmur, a New York dermatologist, said, It has just enough variety that people stay excited to use it.” While many at-home devices are small and require multiple treatments to cover the entire face, masks help solve this issue.
“It makes people feel good, like they’re taking care of themselves,” Dr. Marmur said. “You can treat your skin while doing other things, so it’s easier to form the habit of doing it every day.”
So How Does LED Work?
LED therapy, known as photobiomodulation, can alter biological matter using varying wavelengths of light.
Jared Jagdeo, associate professor of dermatology and director of the Center for Phototherapy, SUNY Downstate Health Science University, studies LED therapy. “You can alter the skin through photo-damaging with lasers, or photobiomodulation, which is a much more gentle way of changing the way the skin functions,” he said.
When asked why red light works particularly well with skin, he said, “There’s a specific receptor in the mitochondria of the skin cells that red light specifically acts upon. And that’s why red light is an ideal wavelength for changing the way the skin functions.”
Red light can pass through the skin, deeply entering tissue and stimulating the cell’s mitochondria, which results in anti-inflammation and the skin’s rejuvenation. Collagen is also produced in the dermis, smoothing out wrinkles and plumping the skin.
While blue light doesn’t penetrate deeply into the skin, it kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface. Green light, on the other hand, focuses on melanocytes, reducing excess melanin production.
Brain S. Biesman, assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology, dermatology, and ENT at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, states that most red light therapy devices aren’t powerful enough to cause eye damage. “Just normal blinking and eye movements should be sufficient to protect the eyes,” he said. “But never stare at a bright light source.”
“As far as the F.D.A. is concerned, if I use CO2 laser resurfacing, it better work because of the amount of risk involved,” said Suzanne Kilmer, a clinical professor of dermatology at the UC Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento and director of the Laser and Skin Surgery Medical Group.
“Compare that to a home device,” Dr. Kilmer said. “If it doesn’t kill you, blind you or make things much worse, it’s probably going to get approved. So it’s actually more incumbent upon the people selling home devices to show efficacy. You have to trust the people who are selling them.”
“LED is real, but it’s probably not optimized yet,” Dr. Kilmer said.
With light therapy, various factors help determine the amount of light your skin needs: the light’s strength, the distance from the skin, the length of time the device is used on the skin, and the natural color of your skin.
“Some of these lights on the market are very weak, and they may not have enough energy output to actually have a biological effect,” Dr. Jagdeo said. “Imagine a glow stick. It produces a color. But you could shine it on your face all day, and it’s not going to change the way your skin works.”
Moreover, the medical community hasn’t determined the standardized dose for treating skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation and acne at home. Dr. Marmur chose her MMSphere dosing on Blu-U, an in-office blue light typically used as an alternative therapy for precancerous lesions.
“Consistent Sphere treatment for seven weeks will equal the energy given in the office with the Blu-U,” she said.
Another device, the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, $435, releases red and blue light in a mask format, with each session lasting only three minutes. The mask’s LEDs are in contact with the skin, which may be a more effective treatment.
Dr. Jagdeo said, “This is a tremendously undertapped area in medicine. But LED light therapy is going to revolutionize the way home medical treatment is delivered for skin care over the next 10 to 15 years.”
If you’re considering developing your own LED facial mask, at Kayian Medical, our team of experts knows what they’re doing. We developed the Aduro mask, the top facial mask in the beauty industry with celebrities such as Julia Robert fans of the Aduro Mask. For more information, visit https://www.aduroled.com/.
For thousands of years, people have used sunlight as a means to aid health and even cure illness. But the concept has gone in and out of favor over the course of time.
Some of the logic related to sunlight began in China around 6,000 BC. At that time, Chinese architects began building homes to face south so that the sun would heat the interior, a practice that continues even today. While windows were likely no more than a gap in the wall at the time, you can still imagine families gathering around to soak up the light and heat. Finally, the trend of solar-heated homes began to catch on in Greece and even Rome. Learn more about solariums.
Then, in the 1900s, research by Augusta Rollier led to the establishment of solaria — buildings designed to optimize exposure to sunlight — throughout Switzerland for the express purpose of sunbathing, which provided impressive results for fighting tuberculosis, smallpox, lupus, and even chronic diseases like arthritis.
But by the middle of the 20th century, the American Cancer Society began demonizing sun exposure as a significant cause of skin cancer.
However, doctors, scientists, and clinical research is demonstrating that consistent exposure to sunlight is actually a critical component of overall health.
Almost all life on earth needs sunlight for many essential functions. It’s hard to ignore its importance for our emotional and physical health as well. We did not evolve in the darkness. The fact that our bodies use UV wavelengths to produce vitamin D has been well established. Read more about vitamin D here.
Is Sunlight Dangerous?
Several recent studies have come to the conclusion that consistent sunlight exposure actually reduces the chances of getting melanoma, and instead increases the survival rate. Also, throughout the ages, regardless of their geographical location, large groups of people have been exposed to nearly continuous sunlight. We evolved having sunlight.
So why did the melanoma epidemic not hit until the 1970s? And if sunscreen is the solution, why have melanoma rates increased over 200% since 1973 — even while the U.S. sunscreen industry has expanded from $18 million in 1972 to around $2 billion today?It’s hard to believe that sunlight was the major problem, nor sunscreen the solution.
A recent review of many such studies published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention concluded that “there is accumulating evidence for sunlight as a protective factor for several types of cancer.” Sadly, many people still live under the incorrect premise that sunlight is damaging and harmful.
The reality is that we have become so disconnected from natural sunlight that our bodies aren’t equipped to handle its under-appreciated benefits. You may be surprised to learn that as your body gets sunlight in the morning, you can actually prepare your cells for the effects of UV light later in the day. And amazingly, the wavelengths in evening sunlight have a natural repairing effect. That’s because red and infrared wavelengths, which are delivered in higher concentrations in the morning and evening, have the unique ability to boost mitochondrial function. This, in turn, enables our cells to both withstand the stresses — and harness the benefits — of UV light. In addition, exposure to sunlight as the seasons change allows our skin to develop a tan, which also forms a natural protection against the stronger UV wavelengths during the summer months.
So the evidence suggests that sunlight might not be the bad guy, after all, we just need to develop a better understanding of how sunlight affects our bodies, and how to harness its potential to improve our health.
The Benefits of Receiving Sunlight
Our retinas are connected directly to the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus gland, which acts as the master circadian pacemaker of the body. Because of this, light received through your eyes plays a critical role in hormonal functions including melatonin production, which regulates our sleep. Quite literally, your body knows to shut off this hormone through exposure to morning sunlight. This type of exposure early in the day also helps produce melatonin later in the evening, when light is absent. Even more amazing, the hypothalamus gland, which is controlled by light, is responsible for controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, and emotional activity — in addition to regulating your hormones and circadian rhythm!
Dopamine is another chemical that is regulated by light and released in the brain. It functions as a neurotransmitter and is closely tied to the emotions of reward and pleasure. In fact, many addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that light exposure is tied to increased dopamine production. So it’s clear that light received through our eyes plays a much more powerful role than most of us realize.
How You Can Benefit from More Light
Getting as much natural sunlight as possible is clearly important. For example, receiving morning sunlight correctly sets your circadian rhythm. However, nowadays, most of us find it challenging to spend hours in the sun — at the right time of day — on a regular basis. Our busy schedules just don’t allow for more time in the sun. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors.
Because this is the case for most of us, a great way to receive the healthy wavelengths of light is by using a light therapy device. One way to think of red light therapy is as a supplement for your health. Dietary supplements help fill out the vitamins your body needs, and regular red light therapy sessions help fill in the lack of natural light our bodies need.
There are many proven benefits of receiving certain wavelengths of natural sunlight directly through our skin and bodily tissues. One aspect that has received little attention is related to the cellular processes affected by certain wavelengths of light.
Researchers in the field of light therapy, or photobiomodulation (PBM), have discovered some incredibly powerful functions derived from wavelengths of light in the optimal window. Improved mitochondrial function, which impacts virtually all cellular metabolic activity, has been widely demonstrated to improve health in a number of ways — including enhanced muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, increased testosterone, and better overall skin health.
In addition to these clinically-proven benefits, several studies have demonstrated that certain wavelengths of light can increase blood flow and assist in the formation of new capillaries. Dr. Gerald Pollack explores this concept in more detail in his award-winning book, The Fourth Phase of Water.
In conclusion, scientists are really just beginning to understand the crucial role that light plays in our overall health. But recent evidence strongly suggests that exposing our bodies to the right kind of light can lead to some wonderful benefits.
Klepeis NE, Nelson WC, Ott WR, et al. The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2001 May-Jun;11(3):231–52.
Holistic medicine is a whole-body approach to healthcare. It aims to improve health and wellness through the body, mind, and soul.
Principles of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is based on several core values:
Good health is a combination of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social wellness.
Prevention first, treatment second.
The disease is caused by a problem with the whole body, rather than a single event or body part.
The goal of treatment is to fix the underlying cause of disease, instead of just improving the symptoms.
LED Light Therapy: What is it, and Does it Work?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. These lights have been in use since the 1960s, but people have only recently begun to use them as a skin treatment.
Before red light therapy entered the health and wellness industries, NASA developed LED lights to grow plants in space. But that was short-lived as LED’s benefits for wound healing and human tissue growth became visible.
LED lights, including blue and red, use varying wavelengths to penetrate the skin and absorb cells. The cell’s absorption triggers a biological process that helps the skin, muscles, and tissues rejuvenate and heal.
What makes LED treatment popular is its non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive treatment for healing acne, reversing sun damage, healing wounds, and other skin conditions.
Using LED treatment may be an amazing option for those who prefer a natural and non-pharmaceutical option to manage joint and muscle issues. By using a specific combination of visible and infrared wavelengths, you can heal the body from the inside out, healing conditions including arthritis without any side effects.
Here the Top 5 Pain Relief Devices
Whether you’re suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a different ailment, here are the top five pain relief devices to try.
5) Double Side FDA Cleared Red/Infrared Lights Therapy Glove
Those who have arthritis or repetitive strain injury should avoid gripping and straining the area. The double side therapy glove can surround their hand for complete coverage without injuring their wrists or fingers.
4)The Multifunction Pen LED
A portable solution, ideal for travel, the multifunction pen LED is around the size of a flashlight, using specific wavelengths for anti-inflammatory treatment in localized areas of application.
3) Handheld Device with LED Red Light
The LED red light therapy handheld device is built with an ergonomic handle, allowing the wrist to naturally rest and the fingers to grip comfortably. Its compact and efficient design is ideal for travel.
2) Light Therapy Infrared Light Panel for Whole Body
Are you looking for deep penetration? The light therapy infrared light panel has the largest amount of diodes, ideal for full body treatment. It’s ideal for reducing inflammation, increasing circulation, and stimulating cell growth.
1. FDA Cleared Red/Infrared Led Light Therapy Pad
A red/infrared light therapy pad is ideal for treating larger or numerous areas of the body, including the lower back. You can apply the therapy pad for 15 minutes, receiving the ideal amount of LED light for treatment.
To order or discuss your LED light medical device don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org