We Need Light
All light is not the same. Physicists certainly know this and now healthcare has turned on to the fact that we need light… and not just any light. Epigenetics continues to wow us with how genetic expression impacts on today’s generation may stem from many generations ago. Artificial light is only something humans have known for the past century and widespread use of electronics (and their light sources) only a few decades.
Our understanding of light’s impact on human health is still evolving. As we gain more knowledge, take it as an excuse to enjoy a candlelight dinner.
Technology offers new and interesting options for non-drug therapeutic interventions. From puffs of air to treat a migraine to electroceuticals, these options can offer new approaches to modulate and manages aspects of physiology. While well established in clinical practice, light continues to offer interesting opportunities for digital health. The story of light is really the story of life. From Genesis to photosynthesis, it’s a fascinating and important story.
We live in light. Perhaps even more than an external aspect of life, light in inexorably connected with the human experience and with our physiology. Today, the ubiquity of light, perhaps as a function of our incandescent and “always on” society, may be having a direct impact on health and wellness. Even Apple, with the introduction of Night Shift, has acknowledged the potential impact of short-wave blue light on sleep and performance.
Natural light contains an even balance of all the colors of the spectrum, and changes with the time of day, time of year, and location on earth. In addition to the rods and cones we use to see, the human eye has a third class of photo-receptors called iPRGC (intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells) which sense the time of day and synchronize our hormone cycles. The bright blue-rich light of day tells our bodies to be awake and alert and allows us to see fine details and colors accurately. The softer warmer light of sunset and candlelight highlights skin tones and signals our bodies to relax, recover and sleep. Exposure to the daily cycles of natural light is critical for synchronizing the hormone cycles that regulate our energy, metabolism, mood, sleep and overall health and well-being.
For more information please see the original article at www.forbes.com
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