One of the most unique forms of treatment nowadays is light therapy. Light therapy is used to treat mental and physical ailments such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The color of the light varies based on its use. Some of the colors used are beige, lavender, and pastels. When discussing anxiety, it is important to understand the root cause. Anxiety is associated with our biological clock. Certain colors regulate our circadian rhythm and improve overall wellbeing.
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What Color Light Helps With Anxiety?
Blue light therapy is most effective for anxiety and other mood disorders. The purpose of this treatment is to correct imbalances both physiologically and psychologically. Blue light is effective at soothing the body when stressed. In fact, blue light has the highest energy out of all colors on the spectrum. It can “kickstart” our day as it mimics the effect a sunny day with clear blue skies has on our brain. With that being said, it is essential to know when to use this light. Exposure to blue light before bed can disrupt our sleep cycle, known as circadian rhythm. Furthermore, too much blue light will have an impact on our hormones and neurotransmission. Let’s take a deep dive to better understand the effects of blue light.
What Is Blue Light And How Can It Help If Used Properly?
Many people have questions about the visible color spectrum. Every color that is included on the spectrum is associated with a different wavelength, energy, and frequency. For example, red light has the longest wavelength at approximately 700 nanometers. On the other end of the scale is violet light with only 400 nanometers.
When it comes to blue light, it is the most “energized” color of all. It is the highest frequency light with shorter wavelengths that range from 450 nanometers to 495 nanometers. Blue light can be combined with other colors to produce white light. When it comes to a natural environment, sunlight is the top producer of all blue light. The only other sources of blue light used today are fluorescent lights, LEDs, and modern electronics. This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming equipment, and television.
While we do receive blue light from all the sources mentioned above, blue light therapy uses a different kind of blue light that is far more therapeutic than a smartphone. Light has a profound impact on our bodies and brain. The circadian rhythm is responsible for preparing our bodies for changes in the environment, activity, and appetite. Our bodies rely upon external cues (sunlight and darkness) to indicate what we should be doing at that time of day. Out of all the colors, blue light has the most intense effect.
Our brain is responsible for producing many types of hormones that keep us full of energy throughout the day. Some of these natural hormones are produced as the day is coming to an end. The body believes it is getting prepared to sleep. Our bodies operate on a 24-hour clock. Blue light lowers levels of melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep. Melatonin also affects your metabolism while regulating your internal clock.
The Negative Effects Of Too Much Blue Light
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. In other words, excessive exposure to blue light, especially at the wrong times, can be detrimental to our health. From eye strain to disrupted circadian rhythms that the blue light can cause, it has to be used strategically. Prior to artificial light, all blue light naturally came from the sun. This was ideal because the sun was only out during the day and not at night. In our modern world, artificial blue light is everywhere. We come in contact with bright lights after sundown. Perhaps the biggest culprits for excessive exposure to artificial blue light are our smartphones, tablets, and computers. We are constantly using these devices in the evening hours.
Exposure to blue light in the morning keeps us alert, awake and feeling energized. The most common use for blue light therapy is in places far north or south of the equator. Daylight hours are too short during the fall and winter months in these locations. Blue light therapy for anxiety is a highly effective, non-invasive, natural treatment that almost everyone can benefit from.