What is Circadian Rhythm?
It is an internal clock in our bodies that makes us alert during the day and sleepy at night. Our circadian rhythm regulates many physical and mental functions such as hormone production and energy levels. Our modern lifestyles, reduced available sunlight during the wintertime and our indoor lifestyle disrupt our bodies’ natural – or circadian – rhythm
Without exposure to the sun, the body's circadian rhythm, or clock, is unable to set itself and starts drifting from the regular 24-hour cycle.
How can light therapy help?
Light is the biggest external factor that controls our body clock. It controls our mood, energy and performance throughout the day by controlling the release of hormones such as melatonin which make us drowsy and cortisol which keeps us alert. Human bodies are programmed to run in sync with natural light of the sun.
You can help "resync" your internal body clock using light therapy. When you use a light therapy lamp, the light from the lamp hits your retina, and nerve impulses are transmitted to the pineal gland to enhance the effectiveness of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which can help boost your mood.
HOW DO I USE LIGHT THERAPY LAMP?
Light therapy involves using a light therapy lamp for 30-60 minutes in the morning to tell your body that this is time that it needs to wake up. It can also be used periodically during the day to combat bouts of tiredness and fatigue.
Position the lamp just off on the side of your face so that you aren’t looking directly into the light. 2. Place the lamp on a stable surface, preferably a desk, 8”-16” away from your eyes. You can read, eat, work on the computer, watch TV, or exercise while you use the lamp.
Typical desk lamps shine away from your eyes while therapy lamps shine directly at your retina for an effect that is energizing and mood-lifting.
Based on over 15 years of scientific research, the benefits of bright light include:
Improve energy levels in the morning
Increase focus and productivity throughout the day
Improve long-term health: manage weight, reduce stress, increase antioxidant levels, and support memory & cognition
More Research and Headlines
NFL Teams Play Better During Night Games Thanks to Circadian Advantages published by Sleep Review - June 2018
Why eight hours a night isn’t enough, according to a leading sleep scientist by Quartz- June 2018
How our body’s circadian clocks affect our health beyond sleep by The Verge - June 2018
“Human-centric lighting” may be the key to feeling better at work by Quartz by Quartz- May 2018
Bright Light Therapy Improves Sleep in People Treated for Cancer published by Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Light therapy provides an affordable and effective treatment by New York Times - January 2018
Can 'light nutrition' help us beat the January blues? by BBC - January 2018
Light Therapy Might Help People With Bipolar Depression by National Public Radio - November 2017
Light Therapy for Depression by New York Times
Bring on the Light by Harvard Health Publications
Natural light in office boosts health by Northwestern University
The Effectiveness of Light Therapy for College Student Depression published by Journal of College Student Psychotherapy
A randomized trial of adjunctive light therapy for non-seasonal depression published by Journal of Affective Disorders
Bright Light Treatment in Elderly Patients With Nonseasonal Major Depressive Disorder, A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial published by US National Library of Medicine