Red Light Therapy's benefits have been proven through many studies that have been conducted. The lack of natural light impacts every cell and all body activity. Human beings were created to be able to utilize sunlight to ensure optimal health. Healthy light is vital to the functioning of every cell, and a deficiency of light can result in chronic disease.
Insufficient sunlight is known to provoke anxiety and depression, as lack of sunlight drains the brain's serotonin and dopamine levels, potentially leading to mood disorders. Being indoors for prolonged periods of time negatively impacts mental well-being. Besides clinical depression and anxiety, low serotonin levels are also connected to depressive disorders such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a common mood disorder related to the shift in daylight hours during winter.
Red light therapy can potentially:
- Alleviate SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
- Boost overall positivity, calmness, and lower anxiety
- Enhance mental clarity and self-confidence
- Improve energy levels
- Promote a balanced mood
A study conducted in 2009 reported that near infra-red light (NIR) therapy improved mood by maintaining healthier emotional states, with a significant decrease in anxiety levels (1). Another study (2) conducted in 2018 on patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) reported that NIR has demonstrated antidepressant properties without any side effects outlined.
Besides the previous studies stated, another study (3) led in 2017 used NIR pulsed at 10Hz has demonstrated a significant improvement in participants with MDD concluding that NIR could eventually be a promising approach to treating this mental illness!
To conclude, a vast amount of studies have been conducted to see how the lack of sunlight affects our mood and how RLT could help with MDD, SAD, and other depressive disorders.