Although there are few, small studies, some claim exposure to red light is good for sleep, but experts disagree.
It has been shown that exposure to red light can be beneficial for pain control, skin health, wound healing, and hair growth in people with alopecia areata, with some even claiming that it helps with sleep. CNN.
Our internal clock regulates the circadian rhythm
Our circadian rhythm is regulated by the body’s internal clock, which controls sleep and wakefulness and reacts to light, signaling us to wake up, and darkness, signaling us to sleep.
Raj DasguptaMD, associate professor of clinical medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, explains that light is the most important thing in training our circadian rhythm 24 hours a day.
Light has many, many different wavelengths. For this reason, when we talk about blue light or red light, we are not talking about a red colored lamp. It’s the wavelength of light.”
We are most sensitive to wavelength blue light, which is the type of light that phone, computer, television screens, and the sun emit.
Blue light has been shown to suppress the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. Raj Dasgupta points out that during the day we obviously want blue light so that melatonin isn’t released when we should be awake.
He says the hypothesis behind the research on red wavelength light, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum, is that it can enhance melatonin release.
There are only a few studies
However, there are only a handful of studies with healthy study participants on red light and sleep, most are small with 10 to 30 participants, and only two studies have found such an association.
In a 2012 study, researchers in China evaluated the effect of red light therapy on sleep quality and performance endurance in 20 female basketball players.
Half of the study participants received full-body red light irradiation for 30 minutes and half of them did not receive any light therapy.
Researchers found that those who were treated with red light had a greater improvement in melatonone levels and sleep than the placebo group.
Too small to prove
The study showed an improvement in sleep, but it’s so small that it doesn’t constitute evidence. Other studies have found a very different effect of red light.
“We’ve shown that you can actually stimulate the brain by exposing people to this saturated red light,” he says. Mariana Figueroato CNN.
She is director of the Mount Sinai Light and Health Research Center and professor in the Department of Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
A study on insomnia
In 2019, she led a study of 30 adults, which looked at whether red light could reduce lethargic sleep.
Sleep lethargy is a daily rhythm that affects memory, mood, reaction time, and alertness. During this period, some suffer from poor performance and feel dizzy.
The effects of sleep apnea usually go away after 15 to 60 minutes, but they can last up to a few hours.
collected in the study Mariana Figuero and colleagues entered data on participants’ self-reported sleepiness as well as auditory performance and cortisol levels on three consecutive Friday nights.
The researchers found that when the red light was delivered through sealed canisters while the participants were asleep, their sleep inertia decreased when they woke up.
May induce alertness
Mariana Figuero also conducted two other small studies where it was found that red light can induce alertness.
“I won’t pretend that [rött ljus] promote sleep.”
She thinks that those who assert that red light is good for sleep may have confused red light’s decreased tendency to inhibit melatonin secretion with improving sleep, but according to her, it’s not the same thing.
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