The Effect of Red Light Therapy on Our Mental Health
In our previous article, we spoke about what Red Light Therapy is, what are the common uses of it, what risks you should take into consideration if you ever decided to undergo this particular kind of treatment, and how it works. But this article is a bit different. In today’s article we will showcase the benefits of Red Light Therapy on our mental health.
With that being said, let’s get right into it.
- What is Red Light Therapy: (Quick Recap)
In case you don’t know what Red Light Therapy is, and you somehow didn’t feel the urge to google it and do some research about it, then this short definition should set you on track.
Basically, Red Light Therapy is a type of treatment that is used for different kinds of healing. From treating muscles tissues and skin to even treating certain mental health issues, Red Light Therapy has been recommended by a fine number of people for how effective and beneficial it can be. Although there’s not a lot of research that backs this sort of treatment, a number of companies are already producing Red light Therapy devices and beds since the treatment itself has lots of potential. This type of therapy works on the basis of exposing the part of our body that requires treatment to low levels of red or near infrared light.
For a more detailed definition, you can check our Red Light Therapy Basic Guide. Click here > What Is Red Light Therapy? – Optimal Lights
Now that we have covered this, let’s move to the benefits of Red Light Therapy on our mental health.
- Red Light Therapy and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder):
Before discussing how Red Light Therapy can help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it’s preferable to start first by defining the condition.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or in short SAD, is a type of depression that affects a decent number of people around the world. Basically, this depression is stimulated by seasonal change, and it mostly starts with the beginning of fall and ends with the end of winter. Common SAD symptoms include energy drain and mood swings. What comes after that is mostly the result of these two.
But what does Red light therapy have to do with this type of depression?
Since SAD is mostly related to a seasonal change, this typically means that there will be a change in the amount of natural sunlight received in the day. In summertime, we receive more light from the sun than in wintertime since winter is characterized with clouds which blocks sunlight.. This causes some people to fall into a state of depression that is mostly characterized with mood swings because of the lack of light, and this is where Red Light Therapy comes into action.
In this case, Red Light Therapy is used in order to compensate for that lack of natural light. Through exposing our skin to “mimicked” sunlight by using medical-grade RLT for around 15 minutes, our skin gets into a state of basking which somehow “tricks” the body into thinking that we’re still in a season with lots of natural sunlight.
Not only that, but according to Organic Authority website, Dr. Marc Schoen of UCLA Medical School believes that RLT is indeed a good option for improving anxiety and compulsive disorders. He also added by saying: “In tandem with psychotherapy, using red light therapy appears to catapult patients out of an acute depressive state faster than any other modality.”. So, If you’re wondering if Red Light Therapy is good for SAD, then the short and direct answer is: YES! And if you believe that SAD is something that you usually suffer from whenever fall comes in, then maybe you should give Red Light Therapy a try and reap for yourself the benefits of this technological advancement instead of simply waiting for winter to go by.
- Depression, Sleep, and Red Light Therapy:
If there is one thing that no one can deny is that depression can strongly affect our sleep cycle, which in turn affects our mental health. When we suffer from a lack of sleep, we get into a state where we cannot make good decisions, which can be very detrimental if those decisions are decisive ones.
What is even worse is that depression may lead to Insomnia, which is a sleep disorder in which someone finds trouble falling or staying asleep, and in some cases, this condition may turn into a chronic one if it occurs more than 3 times a week for 3 months. This is why Red Light Therapy is now being used to treat patients who are in a depressive state. So, if you’re wondering whether you should use Red Light Therapy for depression, then testing it out a couple of times for 15 minutes would be a good choice that will help you make a much wiser decision.
Interestingly, our sleep cycle can also be affected negatively by light, mostly the artificial one. You should bear in mind that light affects our brain by being a cue. This cue tells your brain when you should be asleep and when you should be awake. The problem is that we are living in an era where we are surrounded by artificial light. From TV screens, to Tablets to smartphones, all these devices emit light with a higher color temperature than noonday sun, which is something that disturbs our circadian cycle since the light is basically telling your brain “you shouldn’t sleep now, we’re still in daytime”.
And this is where Red Light Therapy comes into action. Red Light Therapy sleep benefit is tremendous since it is believed to greatly help re-establish a healthy and consistent sleep cycle. This allows you to have longer and better sleep, which in turn makes you feel more energized during the day and most importantly feel better as a result. This means better decision making and, thus, a better life path. So, does Red Light Therapy help you sleep better? The short answer to that is: YES!
- Red light Therapy and Stress:
When it comes to stress, it can be said that it is ‘THE PROBLEM” for most mental issues. Stress affects our mind and body drastically, and in some cases, when not controlled, it can even lead to certain types of paralysis.
Not only that, but acute stress can turn into a chronic one, which can cause certain mental disorders, not to mention the anxiety that comes with it. So, when the stress stimulus is in, and the stress hormones start pouring in your veins, then you probably should keep an eye on your blood pressure since your body is now in a fight-or-flight state. The body is used to periodic acute stress, but this latter turns into a problem when it lasts for too long.
So, is it good to use Red Light Therapy for stress?
The answer to this question appears to be affirmative. A mouse model has been exposed to low level laser therapy. The results were a decrease in the blood levels of stress hormone cortisol and improved behaviour. Did Red Light Therapy help with stress in this case. The answer is yes.
Not only that, but after exposing 4 patients, who met the criteria for PTSD, to low level laser therapy, the result showed that they experienced drastic improvements after 18 sessions. Additionally, other researches showcased that PTSD patients who underwent Red Light Therapy wintensed improvement in emotional stability and quality of life. RLT is indeed beneficial when it comes to reducing stress.
Disclaimer: Individuals who suffer from PTSD should seek professional advice before undergoing any type of treatment. This article is not to be confused with medical advice. The purpose of this article is to educate the public about the benefits of Red Light Therapy on our mental health, but it’s always preferable to seek a professional doctor’s opinion before starting any type of therapy.
From what we have just tackled, it is fair to come to the conclusion that Red Light Therapy is truly a type of treatment that is not only revolutionary, but one that surely deserves a try by anyone who might be suffering from one or more of the mental issues that we have just dealt with. Although RLT is not a magical type of treatment that you should expect to solve all of your mental issues in a matter of seconds, you should keep in mind that by now, a decent number of people are already recommending it although its price is not for everyone. Also, if you are considering undergoing this kind of treatment, then it’s best to get a Red Light Therapy unit that covers most of your body and use it for 15 to 20 minutes while switching sides for maximum results.
And with this, we come to the end of The Benefits of Red Light therapy on Our mental health article. If you would like to know more about Red Light Therapy and have a holistic idea about it, then we have dedicated a whole group of articles just so that you can have the needed education about it. Here at Optimal Light Therapy, we thrive to offer you real value, and this is why we dedicate our time to do the research and provide you with curated blogs that feed your curiosity.