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How does light affect your life?

If you did a quick search on the studies done on the effects of different wavelengths of light and the impact it had on your biology, you would be amazed by the thousands of different references ranging from good to bad. The field of light as a form of therapeutic treatment is called photobiomodulation, or, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).


Photobiomodulation has been used for many years on sports injuries, arthritic joints, neuropathic pain syndromes, back and neck pain, and autoimmune disorders. Over 700 randomised clinical trials have been published on Photobiomodulation alone, over half of which are on pain.


Would it surprise you to know that light plays an important role in your health? Would it also surprise you to know that Americans are spending up to 93% of their life indoors? Could this be the reason why Americans are becoming more and more sick?

Could this be why we feel better at the beach? After we go for a walk outside?

What is it about getting a tan that drives people to sacrifice their time, money, and energy just to spend a few hours under that great nuclear reactor in the sky we call our sun?

But not just any light will do that. In fact, most of the light that we are surrounded by on a daily basis does more harm than good. A Google search will give you hundreds of different resources on the damaging effects of fluorescent lights and the negative impact it has on our biology. And it doesn’t stop there, what about the constant source of blue light that we get from LED screens. You know… your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, and T.V.

But this is only one aspect of the equation. It’s not just about what kind of light you’re exposing yourself to, but also when.

You see, humans have evolved throughout millions of years to be in sync with our environment. It wasn’t until the early 2,000’s that everyone had cell phones, and only by the late 1990's did almost 98 percent of U.S. homes have at least one television set, and those sets were on for an average of more than seven hours a day.

The past 30 years in comparison to millions of years of evolution is no more than a blink of an eye. Our biology is not equipped, or able to handle the drastic, and dangerous effects of excessive “Junk Light” from blue lit LED screens at all hours of the day.


Excessive blue light disrupts are circadian rhythm, which has been linked to things like Alzheimer's disease [1], and cancer [2]. Which are among the top 5 killers in the U.S. Not only that, but with mental illness becoming a bigger problem every single day, it also isn't shocking that circadian rhythm disturbances are shown to create mood disorders [3]. So the more we stare into our mobile devices, T.V’s, tablets, and computers at night, the more we play with fire and run the risk of disrupting our biological clock (circadian rhythm).


What can you do?


Block the BLUE


The first thing we can do is limit all blue light exposure after sunset or at least 2 hours before bed. This will ensure that you're not hindering the natural process of melatonin secretion. This is why blue blockers, or, if you're really serious, red tinted glasses are becoming more and more popular because they block the junk light. You should also consider wearing blue blockers anytime you're indoors under artificial light, even before sunset.


Infrared Light Therapy


Another action you can take in order to upgrade your light game would be to invest in a red light therapy device. Red light therapy devices work great because they increase cellular energy by giving your mitochondria a boost in ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production. Your mitochondria are what produce cellular energy, and consider ATP to be something like energy currency for your cells; the more the merrier. While mitochondria are efficient in taking the food we eat and converting it into ATP, not everyone knows that your mitochondria also run on infrared light. So it can be said that your body is fueled by both food and sunlight. Let's summarize this by saying, the more healthy your mitochondria are, the slower you age and the easier it is for your body to run in an optimal state. This of course, is a MAJOR game changer. This provides a whole list of benefits which you can find on our blog post about “How does red light therapy work?” Here.


More Sunlight!


Another action you can take is finding time to get more sunlight! Duh! As stated earlier, getting enough sunlight is critical in terms of our overall health. Sunlight is what helps trigger vitamin D production, which almost 42% of the population is deficient in. A study posted in the national library of medicine states,

Vitamin D3 deficiency can result in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis and neuro-degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D deficiency may even contribute to the development of cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of different cancers as well as heart disease, stroke, autoimmune diseases, birth defects, and periodontal disease”.


Some people will tell you that you can just take vitamin D in supplement form and that everything will be squared away, however, this isn't the case. Only sunlight can activate vitamin D within you to give you Vitamin D sulfate. So you can only get the full spectrum of benefits from Vitamin D with direct sunlight. Some people also shy away from the sun because of the fear of skin cancer, which is understandable because there is in fact a direct correlation between UV rays and cancer [5]; but we have to understand that getting the perfect amount of sunshine for ourselves is like taking the right dose of medicine. It's also important to note that unexposed skin that rarely sees the sun is at a higher risk of skin cancer. So the more you take time to expose your skin to sunlight, the less at risk you are. So what's a healthy dose of sunshine? Between 10-20 minutes on as much exposed skin as possible; every day. You can experience benefits like a greater mood thanks to the release of endorphins, better blood flow from greater nitric oxide levels, greater testosterone levels, + a lot more.


Sun in the AM/Darkness in the PM


Another quick and easy way to sync your circadian rhythm is to make sure that when you wake up in the morning, that you allow your eyes to receive sunlight. This means waking up, stepping outside, and looking up into the sky for a while. This doesn't mean that you should be staring directly into the sun, but allowing your eyes to absorb light early in the day/afternoon will help increase melanin production which will help protect your skin from the sun and give you more energy.

In contrast to making sure you expose your eyes to sunlight during the morning/afternoon, allow your eyes to embrace complete and total darkness at night. These will affect tiny receptors in your eyes called melanopsin, which act as circadian rhythm controllers. Here is why this is crazy coolPhotoreception refers to mechanisms of light detection that lead to vision which depend on specialized light-sensitive cells called photoreceptors; which are located in the eye. It is well-known that the photoreceptors (The cells in our eyes that respond to light), are not required for circadian photoreception [6]. This is why you can be blind and still have a healthy circadian rhythm, because it has nothing to do with visual sight. Its these tiny receptors called melanopsin which act as circadian controllers which become more healthy when we embrace total darkness at night. This is another major reason to avoid all “junk light” at night if we want to maintain eye health.



So those are some simple yet profound ways that light can affect your life. If you're interested in taking your light game to the next level, check out our store for high quality, safe, and effective infrared light therapy panels. Not only are they powerful, and come in a variety of sizes depending upon your goals, but they're also the most reasonably priced LED infrared light therapy panels in the market.


This is why we choose ATaPa.




[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164904/


[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015754/


[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5694588/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068797/


[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6209927/


[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14500998

 

 

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