Winter blues got you feeling down?
Have you ever wondered where the saying actually came from? If you google winter blues you will see many articles stating symptoms of the cold season. These include mood changes such as anxiety, loneliness and sadness, sleep and health issues such as insomnia, depression, social isolation, fatigue, lack of focus and even weight gain.
Doctors and scientists have recognised that many people start to feel down during winter. So much so, they now have a diagnosis known as seasonal affective disorder aka SAD. Scientists believe that SAD has to do with limited sunlight exposure during winter.
Unknown to some, sunlight plays a major role in our physiological, biological, hormonal, emotional and mental state.
In winter, as the sun rises later and sets earlier, time outdoors can seem impossible, especially for those who work during long days. So let's dive into the mechanics of how limited sunlight can negatively affect your wellbeing, and what you can do to avoid this.
More and more research is being conducted on the benefits of light. Studies on light began in the 1950's by NASA and continue today. Limited sunlight has shown to have negative effects on the human body. As mentioned above, SAD is a type of depressive disorder that occurs during winter months.
Studies show that sufferers may exhibit the following symptoms:
Not only does winter bring about SAD, it is also known as the season of cold and flu's. The cold season is the best time to invest in building your immune system to prepare yourself for a season of wellness rather than illness. And sunlight has been shown to build the immune.
Who knew a daily dose of sunlight could be so important to the human body? More importantly, what can YOU do if you don’t have access or time to get enough sunlight during the day?
This is where we, Infraredi, come in. Grab a hot cuppa, put your feet up and let’s get into it! ☕️
The answer is Red and Infrared Light Therapy.
Red light therapy is a safe, simple treatment that delivers concentrated light to your skin and cells using the same wavelengths as natural light from the sun, but without the harmful UV rays.
Like natural sunlight, RLT helps stimulate the mitochondria in our body.
Mitochondria are the tiny powerhouses within the cell responsible for energy production. This process for energy production is known as Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
Every living organism on earth creates ATP which becomes the energy we use each day. Light therapy is a method of treating SAD .
It involves sitting in front of a light therapy device for 5-10 minutes a day that gives off red and near infrared light mimicking that of sunlight. This light affects brain chemicals linked with mood, sleep and can ease symptoms of SAD, and other types of depression and sleep conditions.
Pretty interesting huh?
So how else can red and infrared light directly impact the winter blues?
A recent clinical trial showed a modest improvement of SAD depression symptoms after a single light session.
It also showed rapid mood improvements with red light after just 2 sessions, by immediately stimulating major neurotransmitter systems involved in mood regulation, in addition to longer term chronobiological effects. The patients reported a significantly greater reduction in self-report depression scores. (4)
Red light therapy also has an array of other benefits which you can check out here.
Red Light therapy can be used all year round, but is especially beneficial in winter to combat SAD and common colds and flus.
It is used by many biohackers, doctors and celebrities for a multitude of benefits.
These include Ben Greenfield, Bella Hadid, Jessica Alba and Dr Josh Axe to name a few. It is a convenient, affordable and natural way to enhance your health.