Biohackn’s Red Light and Melatonin Production

Author: Sophia Ratilla

Melatonin appears to be a trend right now. It's not surprise that if you have a child that wakes up throughout the night or just cannot sleep in the first place, you'll be seeking for whatever assistance you can obtain to put an end to those restless nights.

The pineal gland in your brain begins to create melatonin and releases it into your bloodstream when the day fades to nighttime, which is why its sleep-inducing effects are frequently reported. This puts you in a calm condition, which promotes sleep.

What exactly is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone produced by your brain in reaction to darkness. It aids in the timing of your circadian rhythms (your internal 24-hour clock), synchronizes your sleep-wake cycle with night and day, and supports the transition to not only sleep, but consistent, quality sleep. It can also help you sleep by lowering your body temperature and relaxing your muscles.

To get the most out of this naturally occurring hormone, you should work with it rather than against it. The color of your bedroom night light is crucial here. Contrary to popular belief, a red light does not make melatonin; it just does not impede its creation.

The Red Light 

A red light does not benefit your sleep in any way; it simply does not interfere with the formation of Melatonin. This means that your body can do what it was supposed to do and become tired as it becomes dark; moreover, you will sleep longer during the night.

White and blue lights, such as those provided by TV screens, fluorescent lights, and portable electronics, might delay Melatonin production and reset your body's circadian cycle. This means it will take longer to fall asleep, you will have less REM (dreaming) sleep, and you will wake up tired. It's worth noting that even with your eyes closed, you can recognize the color of the light.

Light Quality in Relation to Color

To determine which hue is optimal for sleeping, it is necessary to first evaluate the quality of light. As previously said, light has three primary characteristics:

• Saturation is the term used to describe the intensity of a light hue. When it comes to our emotions, the more vivid the color, the more powerful it is. Saturation in art, which also pertains to light, may range from highly saturated or 100 percent pure color to 0% saturated or gray

• Brightness - The quantity of light produced by a light source. According to studies, the stronger the light, the more profoundly it impacts our emotions and, by extension, our tiredness

• Hue - refers to a hue or mild tint. Natural light has a distinct effect on your emotions and tiredness than artificial light. As a result, many individuals argue that artificial or blue light promotes alertness before sleep

The color's mix of brightness, hue, and saturation contributes to its suitability for inducing sleep or awake. This must be noted while selecting the light color, regardless of the actual hue of the light. Colors, on the other hand, have an effect on our emotions and tiredness. As an example,

• Red or amber light is the most likely to disrupt our circadian cycle and cause us to sleep. Red or amber light boosts the release of melatonin and makes us feel calmer in the evening. Some specialists even believe that red or amber light might boost our mood and mental wellness

• Blue or white light - this type or hue of light makes us feel more active and likely to be awake if it is exposed to us before or during sleep. The reason behind this is because our brain cells are extremely sensitive to blue wavelengths. Blue wavelengths have been shown in studies to impact the blind and disturb their circadian rhythms, despite the fact that they cannot see the color

Nightlights with Red Light

If you are having difficulty putting your child to sleep or are having restless nights, we highly advise you to use a night light with a red light option. It may take a few weeks for bubs to adjust to a change color, but red light will not disrupt their circadian cycle or melatonin synthesis, allowing them to sleep soundly.

Light and Our Environmental Sensitivity

It has been discovered that light has a biological or psychological influence in addition to providing visual effects and allowing us to perceive, distinguish forms, contrasts, and diverse perspectives. 

Light may boost our sleep, emotions, and well-being, as well as our cognitive. Light is critical to how we view the world and our surroundings; it helps us learn, recall, and remember it, and it highlights what we need to know to interpret it. Numerous research on light and our ambient cognition have shown all of this. 

As a result, light has a significant impact on our circadian rhythm and the sleep-wake cycle. Light, its brightness, saturation, or even its absence, influences melatonin synthesis and prepares our bodies for sleep. So, depending on the color, brightness, hue, and saturation of the light in your immediate area or bedroom, it might make you sleepier or more awake.

Lighting Effects and Their Relationship to Mood and Sleep

It is not only the hue of the light that influences our emotions and tiredness; it may also be the lighting effect or the direction of the light. Here are some examples of how lighting effects or directions might impact our mood, sleep, and general mental state:

• Bright lighting, as well as wall lighting with cooler tones, makes us feel more focused, attentive, and gives visual clarity

• Low lighting, warm lighting in the activity center, and dark regions around us make us feel more intimate, comforting, and, finally, drowsy. Melatonin production and tiredness are aided by low and warm light

• Intense direct light from above causes us to become more tense, agitated, anxious, and emotionally and physically restless. It may increase arousal and sleep anxiety

• Low overhead lighting with warm color tones helps us feel comfortable, peaceful, linked to the individuals with whom we share the space, and more prone to contemplating and thinking

The Sleep Advantages of Red Light

Here are some of the most notable advantages of red or amber light for your sleep:

• Natural melatonin synthesis — When compared to other forms of lighting, such as blue light, red light has been demonstrated to help the body create more melatonin. Red or near-red wavelengths make the brain tranquil and in line with the normal sleep-wake cycle, rather than sensitive and vigilant

• Muscle relaxation — exposure to red light not only makes you drowsy, but it also promotes bodily relaxation. Red light is said to induce muscular relaxation since it has a relaxing influence on humans and helps release tension in the body. Muscle relaxation might help you sleep better as well

• Prevention of sleep inertia - exposure to red light before and throughout sleep can help prevent the foggy feeling we get when we wake up (or sleep inertia). According to one study, participants who were exposed to red light felt more awake and focused when they woke up. They also slept better and slept longer, and they performed better on a cognitive exam

How Can I Get the Red Light Therapy Effect?

You may now use high-quality LED red light devices to produce red light therapy benefits in your environment. You may also experiment with red lights, but avoid those that are just colored red; instead, seek for bulbs that emit red light color rather than being red themselves. You may even use ambient light devices, which generate a variety of light hues in addition to red. 

However, we propose that you utilize LED red light devices since they solely emit red light wavelengths and most closely mimic red light treatment.