Sleep & Depression - Can I feel better?
Having a steady sleep schedule likely sounds IMPOSSIBLE. Especially if you have lots of things going on in your life like with family, school, and the holidays just around the corner.
But it’s so important to have a consistent sleep schedule, not only does it help you prepare for the day, but it also works on a biological level to let your body know when it should be ready to wake or sleep. If this changes frequently it can leave your body in a state of stress.
There is more and more research coming out that shows that infrared and red light therapy can help people enjoy better sleep - in both the depth and duration. Your sleep cycle is regulated by melatonin and red light therapy helps people produce more of their own!
When sleep is dysregulated, it can lead to depression. This is so important to catch at the start to help you lower stress and manage your moods throughout the winter months. This is especially relevant if you are spending too much time indoors and not getting enough natural light, red light therapy can help you increase your light exposure.
Now why is this so important?
The foundation of our health is something that is unparalleled in it’s importance. We’re talking about the roots of what helps you succeed. For many of us that’s caring for our bodies and our minds. When you aren’t sleeping regularly there is a disruption in your circadian rhythms and can increase your risk of disease.
This can include diseases like diabetes, depression, and alzheimers. Though for many, this low-level stress opens the door to most of the diseases that are out there.
What are some symptoms you may experience?
These symptoms are probably common amongst most of us, here are some of the most noticeable:
Waking up at irregular times
Feelings of depression
Excessive fatigue throughout the daytime
Yawning more often than normal
How does this impact your immune system (referenced from healthline (Article 2))
While you sleep, your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances like antibodies and cytokines. It uses these substances to combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
Certain cytokines also help you to sleep, giving your immune system more efficiency to defend your body against illness.
Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up its forces. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders, and it may also take you longer to recover from illness.
What else can you do to help your sleep & prevent depression?
Referenced from Healthline - Article 2.
Refrain from caffeine past noon
Go to bed at the same time each night
Wake up at the same time every morning
Spend an hour before bed relaxing
Avoid heavy meals within a few hours before bedtime
Refrain from using electronic devices right before bed
Reduce alcohol intake
How does light therapy help?
Help you improve poor energy levels
Improve and balance your mood
Help you feel more confident
Reduce seasonal depression (SAD)
What does the science say?
That light therapy can help with the treatment of sleep to help you balance your circadian rhythms and stave off disease to manage your health. Here are two recent articles that speak to this:
“When light effects were grouped for the two sessions, there was significantly greater reduction in self-report[ed] depression. Therefore, a modest but rapid mood improvement was detected after a single active light session.” (Article 1.)
“Light therapy was found effective in the treatment of sleep problems in general, and for circadian rhythm sleep disorders, insomnia, and sleep problems related to Alzheimer's disease/dementia specifically.” (Article 4.)
If you know that you are experiencing these symptoms and want to talk more, call me at 720-219-2990 and let's explore what’s possible for you!
If you want to learn more about Light Therapy & my Light Therapy work, you can follow me with the links below, or email me at Lisa@lightmattersinfo.com - thank you for reading!
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Here are the articles I've referenced above:
Article 3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11223108/
Article 4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26606319/
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