How Does Light Therapy Affect My Sleep Cycle?
Sunlight, we know, has one of the most significant impacts on our sleep schedule or ability to fall asleep. In fact, Dr. Andrew Huberman (a leading M.D. at Stanford) has stated plainly that the most important factor in quality, restorative rest is the presence of enough sunlight in an individual's morning as they trigger an essential "cascade of hormones." Would it be surprising to learn that light therapy can have a similar effect on our circadian rhythm? Studies have shown us evidence that PBM can help a person to essentially "reset" their circadian rhythm with light waves. This is helpful to those who suffer from insomnia or perhaps work nights and find it difficult to access adequate sunlight and sleep.
As mentioned, our hormones also play a significant role in our ability to sleep soundly each night. The way our body produces hormones is significantly impacted by exposure to light therapy, so says science. This means light therapy should be an important factor for those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.
A small gland located in our brains, called the pineal gland, is responsible for producing melatonin, the hormone that our body requires to fall asleep and stay asleep each night. As an effect of light therapy, the proper doses and rhythms of melatonin production can be restored and strengthened.
How Does this Benefit my Overall Health?
PBM helps to boost mitochondrial actions in the area of the body that is being targeted. (i.e. skin, muscle, brain, etc.). Melatonin and the other processes, which occur while we are sleeping, are what our mitochondria depend on for natural energy. Meaning, without enough melatonin and, consequently, enough restorative sleep each night, our whole body and cognition will suffer. Our mitochondria are protected and regenerated by melatonin while we sleep soundly each night.
Humans need sleep to thrive each day, so anything that enhances our sleep quality is excellent and will make a significant difference in quality of life.
What Science is Telling Us
"Exposure to this bright light helps to adjust your circadian rhythm - physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle and respond primarily to light and darkness in the environment - and may help certain people sleep earlier at night or sleep later in the morning. Light therapy is designed to use visible light while filtering out ultraviolet rays." Source: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/light-therapy-insomnia-sufferers
"Evidence shows that this form of light, in wavelengths from 600-900 nanometers, induce melatonin production in the body." Source: https://www.wiseapetea.com/blogs/knowledge/hack-your-brain-with-light-therapy