Book Review: Living Light:  The Art of Using Light for Health & Happiness

While it’s hard not to notice the brilliant display of colors set off by a sunset over the water, we seldom consider the biological, or even psychological, benefits of light. “It is my belief that good quality light in our daily lives is far more important than we might think,” writes Karl Ryberg. In his new book, Living Light: The Art of Using Light For Health And Happiness, Ryberg brings us his life’s work — studying the obvious and not so obvious ways in which light affects us and how we can use light in our lives not only function better, but feel better. Light, we know, plays an important role in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Ryberg writes, “Research has (also) shown that lack of light in the wintertime has as impact on the part of the brain that produces serotonin, that mood regulator essential for our well-being.” Moreover, exposure to electric light — as oppose to natural sunlight — confuses our circadian rhythms. Ryberg points to a study that exposed a group of people to a week of camping without artificial light followed by a week of camping with electric light: “The team of researchers found that levels of melatonin, the hormone that is triggered in the pineal gland in our brains to make us feel sleepy, were slower to drop in the mornings with those exposed to electric light, making them feel groggy for longer.” Interestingly, animal studies have also linked exposure to twenty-four hour light to...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Book Reviews Disorders General Habits Psychology Seasonal Affective Disorder Self-Help Treatment artificial light Light therapy Living Light natural light Ryberg SAD Source Type: news

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