Human beings have evolved to adapt to the natural cycle of day and night. This cycle regulates our Circadian rhythm or sleep pattern, which in turn regulates the release of certain hormones and other biochemical substances in the body. These substances are necessary for a wide range of metabolic and physiological functions.
Interestingly, LED lights can be used as an alternative to natural sunlight when the latter is not readily available, such as during winter time.
Here are seven ways that LED lights can help you maintain good health.
1. LED lights trigger vitamin D production
Many vitamins and hormones cannot be utilized by the body without the help of sunlight. For instance, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is produced by the skin if you are exposed to direct sunlight. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight trigger the synthesis of cholecalciferol from the cholesterol in the skin.
LED lights give off low amounts of ultraviolet rays. If properly adjusted and used, the LED lights in your home and place of work can help in vitamin D synthesis.
2. They prevent serious ailments
With the help of LED lights at specific wavelengths, you can synthesize vitamin D in your skin when natural light is not available. For instance, if you are working near the Arctic, Antarctic or underground, you may suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
This vitamin is essential for bone health, preventing osteoporosis through calcium regulation. It also prevents various types of serious diseases like breast cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease.
3. They provide stress relief
Stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and insulin are generally produced as part of your fight-or-flight reaction. These hormones can make you alert by dilating your blood vessels, triggering a faster heart rate, increasing your sugar metabolism, and focusing your senses.
During our early development as a species, stress was released through physical activities like running away from predators. In the ergonomic and climate-controlled environment of the office, this is not the case. Regular elevations in these stress hormones can trigger debilitating chronic ailments like diabetes.
You can manage stress at work by using LED lights to relax. At certain color wavelengths, these lights can help lower your heart rate and reduce the production of stress hormones.
4. They make you feel happy
Happiness is a complex issue that involves many psychological, physiological, genetic, and environmental factors. However, it is basically brain chemistry that is regulated by hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
The proper intensity and colors of LED lights can help maintain normal levels of the body’s happy hormones. You can experience more positive moods with sufficient exposure to LEDs.
5. They help reduce fatigue
A high level of stress hormones triggers the production of uric acid as muscles become tensed. This results in the feeling of being tired. You can reduce fatigue if you manage your stress reaction with LED lights. Dimmer or softer LED lights will do the trick.
6. They stimulate alertness at work
Natural light has blue wavelengths that repress the production of melatonin in the brain. At the same time, an elevated amount of certain blue wavelengths also triggers the production of cortisol. This hormone is usually at its peak in the morning when you wake up.
The use of LED lights in the office, which mimic natural light, can help you feel awake and alert. This is particularly important in workplaces that expose people to a higher level of potentially dangerous situations, like inside a tunnel, in manufacturing plants, mines, or submarines.
7. They help normalize sleep
The demands of the industrial age and globalized economy have disrupted people’s sleep patterns. Many business sectors, like the airline and the manufacturing industries, require 24/7 operations.
Consequently, these industries need staff to work the graveyard shift. Employees who are periodically assigned to graveyard shifts experience poorer health and weaker cognitive abilities (alertness, concentration) in general.
Disrupting the normal sleep patterns could weaken the immune system and could cause depression. This can be avoided by gradually adjusting the wavelengths and intensity of LED lights at home and at work. Soft white light is good for this purpose.
If you think that you are not getting enough sleep and sunlight, you may try changing the lights in your house and your office. Switch to LED lights. These are not only environment-friendly, but can also help you maintain good health, both physically and mentally. Make sure to search for reputable suppliers of LED lights to get the best products.