Balancing Your Light Exposure for Good Health

Artificial LED lighting like the winter waning of natural light can have negative effects on health and well-being. Ayurveda can help re-balance the body deprived of enough natural light and overexposed to LED lighting.

Winter darkness and the blues are hardly new. Natural light deprivation disrupts balance between mind and body, especially for people who mostly stay indoors during daytime hours. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can make people feel more depressed, irritable, moody and tired with low energy.

Seasonal mood problems associated with natural light deprivation are most common among people who wake up and arrive at work before sunrise and don’t go outside again until after sunset to return home.

New year-round health issues have emerged since 1992 when LED (light emitting diode) lighting was invented, which subsequently became the standard for computer, mobile phone and TV screens. More recently it’s being used in street lighting.

The American Medical Association has warned that LED lighting can be harmful for health, because it may increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, while interfering with natural sleep cycles.

Light helps the body regulate levels of the hormone melatonin, which controls circadian rhythms for staying awake and sleeping. Too little natural light makes it more difficult for the body to regulate or turn off melatonin release—to feel alert and awake.

Evidence from the AMA and the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute suggests the increasing use of LED lighting causes imbalances in the body. LED lighting interferes with the normal release of melatonin, which makes it more difficult to unwind, feel sleepy and ultimately get a good night’s sleep.

Good health requires maintaining a balance between the body, mind and environment.  Ancient Ayurveda wisdom and common sense solutions for SAD and over-exposure to electronic LED screens can help.

Spend more time outdoors in the daylight—at least an hour or two or at very least near windows. Aromatherapy, exercise and taking winter vacations in sunny climes can help offset the winter blues. It’s also wise to stop staring at electronic screens a few hours before bedtime and keep all electronic screens out of the bedroom. Best of all, these are non-pharmaceutical remedies.

Don’t have time to get outside today?Another great remedy for SAD is to invest in a Himalayan Salt Lamp, which can off-set the effects of not getting enough natural light.

Mind the light. Health and wellness depend on it. How do you deal with the darkness of winter and do you allow yourself any respite from LED electronic screens to wind down before bedtime?