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Red Light Therapy Sleep : The Modern-Day Lullaby

No pills. No treatment. No invasion. Sleep great without much of a hassle!

April 9, 2021 0 comments
Red light therapy sleep

‘Red light therapy sleep is what you need to fight sleep disorders’

‘Don’t use your phone and electronic devices 30 minutes before bed.’

‘Eliminate blue lights before sleep, and incorporate red light instead.’

‘ Red light therapy sleep is one of the best biohacking sleep techniques.’ 

I am pretty sure you have bumped into such statements in sleep studies, researches and blogs. And you must be wondering what the hype about red light therapy sleep is. How exactly does it help you sleep better? How does it improve your sleep quality?

This article shows how red light exposure affects your sleep and how you can use it to generally improve your night’s sleep. Shall we get on the move?

How Does Light Affect Your Sleep?

how does light affect your sleep

Light affects the circadian rhythm. The circadian system is an internal clock that makes you feel sleepy at night and alert during the day. Exposure to natural light aligns your circadian cycle to follow the sunrise and sunset (1). However, there is a lot of light in the modern-day that throws us off the natural circadian rhythm.

Disruption of the circadian cycle affects the quality and quantity of sleep, and in the long run, it affects your health. A disrupted circadian system makes you unable to sleep at night and constantly tired and in need of a nap during the day.

You want to feel sleepy at night and alert during the day.

It is not just enough to get 8 hours of sleep. The sleep needs to be deep and restful. But you know that a deep and restful night’s sleep is impossible with disrupted circadian rhythms. Fortunately, you can use red light therapy to get your rhythm back in check.

Red Light Therapy Sleep for Changed Lifestyle

The circadian rhythm needs no artificial light therapies to help you sleep well at night and stay awake during the day.

However, there is a lot of artificial lighting and screens that offset the circadian rhythm in the modern day.

Also, working in shifts or staying late into the night may not work as well as you wish. For instance, if you sleep at 3 am and wake up at 11 am, that’s the correct quantity of sleep, but the sleep quality is interfered with because of natural lighting. And in this case, red light therapy can help you sleep well off the natural circadian cycle.

What is Red Light Therapy Sleep?

 red led lights

Red light consists of long-wavelength lights in the spectrum, usually 670 mm.

Blue light is the kind of light electronic devices emit. It has shorter wavelengths of approximately 450 and 495 nm.

And blue light exposure could be the reason you have sleep problems. Blue light makes you alert, and it could be the reason you stay awake late at night.

Red light therapy is also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM). It is a non-invasive treatment that uses LEDs to transfer wavelengths of red and near-infrared directly into the cells and skin.

This light delivery enhances cellular function in the body by delivering mitochondria with the light needed to manufacture ATP energy.

Red light exposure gives the sleepy effect. It helps make you tired and makes you fall asleep. One thing about quality sleep, it does not entail just falling asleep. It involves falling deep into sleep and the ability to stay asleep through the night.

Also, Joovv reviews show that a Joov device in your house could help you sleep better, especially if you don’t get enough natural lighting and you are almost ever in front of electronic devices. A joovv device will deliver red light to you, and you will enjoy the benefits of light therapy without overexposure to the fierce sun rays.

How Does Red Light Therapy Sleep Technique Work?

Red light stimulates the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone (2). Melatonin:

  • Makes you drowsy
  • Regulates the sleep pattern and also the circadian rhythms.

If you need to get over sleep problems, your goal should ever be to increase melatonin levels. Melatonin makes you less alert and finally drowsy. The last thing you want when it’s your bedtime is to be alert.

Red Light Therapy Sleep for Better Sleep

girl stand near red light on the wall

To fall asleep is just the beginning of a good night’s sleep. But the problem comes in when most people cannot stay asleep at night.

Red lights increase the release of melatonin which:

  • Reduces body stimulation
  • Makes you drowsy and sleepy
  • Reduces alertness, mood and attention
  • Tones down your reaction time to things happening around you

Melatonin can help you acquire 2-3 more hours of deep sleep.

Melatonin production starts naturally in the evening when you are winding up the day. When you use blue light devices or bright light, you increase cortisol levels. Cortisol increases alertness and is usually produced in the morning. This is why you need to increase red-light exposure and cut down on blue light 30 minutes before the bed.

Red Light Therapy Sleep Treatment for Sleep Inertia

Red light helps you wake up more alert and energetic. In short, red light helps prevent sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is when people wake up feeling groggy and exhausted to even start their day. And sometimes, it becomes difficult to shake off the grogginess, and some people end up going back to bed.

Studies found out that when people were exposed to red light through their closed eyelids, they woke up feeling ready to tackle the day ahead. The same results were acquired when the red light was exposed through open eyes by wearing red light goggles.

Red light ensures you get a night of deep and restful sleep, helping wake up more alert.

Many shift workers, such as medical professionals, use this technique to improve their sleep quality and help them stay alert after their sleep or naps.

Red Light and Endurance Performance

red light and endurance performance

Red light has been shown to help improve sleep quality and improve endurance performance in the long run.

If you are an athlete, you need enough sleep and be energetic enough to be on the move.

Red light therapy increases serum melatonin production, which will take your performance ability to the following levels. And it also shows to help improve mental endurance.

Red Light and Night Vision

The glaring white light leaves people straining to see clearly. When you use non-glaring red light, it can help you see better at night. It is gentle on your eyes if you wake up to it at night.

This is why red light is used in submarines, by astronomers, and in airplane cockpits.

Red Light Therapy Sleep for Jet Lag

Jet lag occurs when you travel across different time zones, and your sleep cycle remains synchronized with your old location. If you don’t align it with the new location, you may feel sleepy all day and very much alert after midnight.

Usually, spending time outside in the sunlight can help align your circadian rhythm to your new location. However, it may take you some days and even weeks to synchronize with the new location. Getting red light therapy can help.

In fact, when you have traveled across several timelines in a short while, aligning your circadian rhythm with the new location becomes challenging. And in this case, red light therapy can help you sleep at night. It will save you sleep deprivation in the first days in your new location and get you into a natural cycle in the long run.

FAQ

Is it Bad to Sleep with red LED lights?

is it bad to sleep with red led lights

There is no harm in sleeping with dim red lights on. In fact, it is recommended to use dim red LED lights in your bedroom. It is less likely to suppress melatonin and also less likely to shift the circadian system. It is advisable to keep off bright screens more than 30 minutes before sleep time.

Does Light Therapy Help you Sleep?

Yes. Light plays a crucial role in regulating the circadian rhythm and producing the sleep hormones melatonin and cortisol.

Wrap-up

Sleep is vital for a correctly functioning body and mind. And as you know now, light exposure can either support your sleep cycle or offset it. Fortunately, with the red light therapy sleep technique, we can sleep better, even if it’s off or previous circadian rhythms.

If you are experiencing sleep disorders such as insomnia, red light may help you fight it. But before getting red light therapy, it is advisable to seek medical advice from your doctor, just in case you need any lifestyle changes.

Voila, there we go for red light therapy for sleep. Incorporate it; it could just work as well as a soothing bedtime song.

Sources:

1 https://www.healthline.com/health/why-not-to-have-red-lights-on-at-night#:~:text=Red%20light%20and%20sleep,you’re%20exposed%20to%20light.

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499892/ 

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