Research shows that adults who are short sleepers (i.e., they get less than 7 hours of sleep during a 24-hour period) are more likely to struggle with chronic health conditions like asthma, arthritis, and diabetes than those who sleep more than 7 hours.
Do you frequently get poor sleep? Whether you deal with insomnia or just aren’t getting as much rest as you’d like each night, red light therapy might be the solution you’re looking for.
Read on to learn more about this treatment and some of the benefits of red light therapy for sleep issues.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Even though it has been around for decades, red light therapy is still considered a relatively new treatment protocol geared mainly toward people struggling with skin issues (wrinkles, fine lines, eczema, etc.). However, new research also indicates that it can be useful for other conditions, too, including poor sleep and insomnia.
Red light therapy works by exposing the body to low wavelength red light. It’s also known as RLT, low-level laser light therapy, and photobiomodulation.
Red low wavelength red light penetrates the skin and is absorbed and used by the cells of the body. The mitochondria of the cells absorb these light particles and use them to produce greater amounts of adenosine triphosphate (or ATP). ATP is the preferred chemical energy source for all of our cells.
How Does Red Light Therapy Improve Sleep?
At this point, you might be more interested in red light therapy, but you might also be confused about how it improves sleep quality. What is the red light therapy-circadian rhythm connection?
Red light therapy can promote better sleep quality in a variety of ways, including the following:
Better Sleep-Wakefulness Regulation
Regular red light therapy exposure can help to regulate your sleep-wakefulness cycle and make it easier for you to get on a consistent sleep-wake schedule. The more consistent you can be with your schedule, generally speaking, the easier it is to get a good amount of rest each night and wake up feeling rested in the morning.
One way that red light therapy regulates the sleep-wakefulness cycle is by increasing melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a key role in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. By boosting melatonin naturally, you may find that you can enjoy more quality rest when nighttime rolls around.
Combats Blue Light Exposure
Throughout the day and, in many cases, into the night, most of us are exposed to more blue light than our bodies can handle.
Blue light comes from our TV screens, our smartphone screens, our computer screens, and more. Not only can it contribute to headaches and eye strain, but it can also throw off our circadian rhythm and cause us to feel alert when it’s time to wind down and hit the hay.
Sitting in front of a red light therapy device helps to combat the blue light exposure we encounter throughout the day. This makes it easier for us to relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Naturally Increases Energy During the Day
When you get plenty of quality, uninterrupted sleep at night, it’s easier for you to feel more naturally energized during the day. This helps you to be less reliant on caffeine or other stimulants.
Remember, caffeine has a half-life of about 5 hours. This means half of the amount you consumed is still in your system 5 hours later. Regular red light therapy treatments may help you to minimize your caffeine intake and avoid the potential interruptions it can cause to your sleep.
Some people struggle with sleep at night because they’re dealing with high levels of stress during the day.
If you have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep because your mind is racing as you think about everything you have to do the following day, or because you’re ruminating on things that happened beforehand, red light therapy can help.
Research shows that red light therapy can lower cortisol levels and help your body into a parasympathetic or “rest-and-digest” state. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to get to sleep and stay asleep.
Reduces Chronic Pain
Finally, red light therapy can also be useful for those dealing with chronic pain. This is because red light therapy has powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits.
Those who struggle with pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any other chronic condition, know how much of an impact this pain can have on their sleep. They may have a hard time falling asleep at night, or they may wake up frequently because they’re uncomfortable.
Red light therapy helps to combat these issues and makes it easier for chronic pain sufferers to enjoy a good night’s sleep more consistently.
How to Use Red Light Therapy for Better Sleep
One of the most common questions we get regarding red light therapy and sleep is “when is the best time to use red light therapy: morning or evening?”
For most people, a good starting point is to aim for 10-20 minutes of red light therapy every night before bedtime. Over time, you can always increase the amount of time you spend in front of the device, though.
Regular nighttime use gives the body a chance to relax, wind down, and get ready for sleep. It also helps you to establish a solid nighttime routine, which can also improve sleep quality and help you get to sleep faster.
Enjoy Red Light Therapy Sleep Support Today
Are you ready to finally start getting better rest? Incorporating a red light therapy night light or utilizing a red light sleep therapy app could make all the difference.
At Sun Home Saunas, we’re committed to helping you get a good night’s sleep and experience all the other health benefits that red light therapy has to offer. Whether you want to add red light panels to your sauna or invest in a portable red light therapy device for easy, on-the-go treatments, we’ve got you covered.
Visit our online shop today to find the perfect red light therapy device for your home (and bed).