How a Himalayan Salt Lamp can help you with Seasonal Affective Disorder AND Blue Light Exposure

Imagine if a single object could help you wake easier, keep you alert during the day, and help you sleep better at night, and all the while, improve your mood. If you’ve noticed your mood changing in the darker months, and spend time on electronic devices directly before bed, we have the perfect product for you: Himalayan salt lamps. Unlike other lamps, salt lamps will help you with both SAD and blue light exposure. How? Keep reading, and we’ll tell you how a salt lamp can change the rhythm of your day.

closeup salt lamp

Image by Maryam Zahra

 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

SAD is similar to normal depression, but occurs usually around the winter. Severity can vary between various people. For the more severe cases, it triggers a low mood, loss of pleasure in everyday activities, feelings of despair, low self-esteem, and other symptoms similar to depression. It may also trigger lethargy, unbalanced sleep, and an increased appetite.

 

How can a Himalayan Salt Lamp help with SAD?

Some people with SAD try light therapy, which usually involves turning on a lamp for a period in the morning. Sometimes this is a very bright light, to simulate the sunlight that you’re missing during these months, sometimes it is a slightly lower light to still simulate natural light, but also allow you to adapt to the day. Himalayan lamps are thus an option to help combat your seasonal affective disorder. The soft Himalayan glow encourages the reduction of melatonin in your brain, as well as increasing serotonin production. In this way, the pink salt lamp can prevent sleepiness, and improve your mood.

 

Why a Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp over a high lux ‘SAD Lamp’?

Some Himalayan salt lamps come with a timer, which is particularly apt for this use, as it can gradually light your room to prepare you for waking. Some pink salt lamps also come with a gradual fading out option, which can help you to adapt to the day. SAD Lamps often do not have this function, and you would have to get a separate ‘sunrise alarm clock’, which does not serve the exact same function as an automatic dimming enabled Himalayan rock salt lamp.

Himalayan salt lamps can also be used at any time, for casual use and for SAD purposes. Compare this to SAD lamps, which can often only be used for a small period in the morning, and then serve no other purpose. Unlike salt lamps, they are too bright to be used across the day. As SAD is capable of reoccurring for a period every year, a Himalayan salt lamp can be used in the meantime, whilst SAD lamps would have to be shelved.

Himalayan lamps with dimmers can allow you to adapt the level of light to your liking, often being very bright, with the option to turn it down. In this way, you can customise your pink salt lamp to light your surroundings to your exact preference.

Pink salt lamps are better than SAD lamps for those who have an eye condition or are sensitive to light, or are taking medication that increases light sensitivity, such as St John’s Wort. For those who suffer from these conditions, a rock salt lamp will be much more suitable and safer than the high lux SAD lamps. Himalayan light therapy has no additional side effects.

waking with a salt lamp

Image by Bruce Mars

 

What is Blue Light and Blue Light Exposure?

Blue wavelengths of light are good for you in the waking hours, because they boost attention, concentration, and in some studies, mood. However, in the evenings, it is blue light that is the most disruptive. Electronics with screens, that we all have and spend much of the day looking at, increase our exposure to blue light. Blue light exposure at night has been linked to imbalanced circadian rhythms, which is usually 24 hours for most. It can also increase blood sugar levels, increase depressive tendencies, and supress the secretion of melatonin, meaning you are not as sleepy. As the average person has begun to spend most of the day on their electronic devices, it is a central reason that many people now lack sufficient sleep.

 

How can a Himalayan Salt Lamp help with Blue Light exposure?

Studies show that Himalayan salt lamps can aid sleep, due to their dim, warm light. When replacing bright, blue light emitting devices with the pink light of a Himalayan salt lamp, you are able to encourage the production of melatonin, and thus have a better quality of sleep.

‘Red light’ is less likely to alter your circadian rhythms, and suppress melatonin. The pinkish and orange-y hues of Himalayan salt lamps can mimic this effect perfectly. Each Himalayan lamp is uniquely cut, so if you want to ensure this effect, you can go for a salt lamp with more minerals, and thus a pinker/redder colour.

If you work a night shift, keep a pink salt lamp nearby to counter the effect of using electronic devices at night. This will limit the impact of blue light wavelengths.

Unlike other lamps, an authentic Himalayan salt lamp can safely be kept on all night, to allow yourself to fall asleep to the warm Himalayan glow more easily than with the blue light of your devices. Some salt lamps can be set to a timer, allowing it to turn itself off at night, if you would prefer not to leave it on.

sleeping with a salt lamp

Image by Gregory Pappas

But how can a Salt Lamp help with Both?

You may have noticed that in the case of SAD, a Himalayan salt lamp can inhibit the production of melatonin, whilst with Blue Light, a salt lamp encourages the production of melatonin. This is mainly due to the time of day, with the pink salt lamp being used in the early hours of the morning in one use, and in the hours before sleeping in the other. As daylight helps to standardise circadian rhythms, the salt lamp works at both ends of the day; SAD occurs when there isn’t sufficient daylight, so the Himalayan lamp steps in to act as substitute light, whilst Blue Light shifts these rhythms, and the dim light of a salt lamp standardises your rhythm before sleeping.

Using dimmers and timers with your Himalayan pink salt lamp can also change this according to your preference, so it can perfect the time and depth of light that you would prefer at various times across a day. Indeed, keeping it as bright as possible in the early morning is probably the best, as that can provide concentration in the morning, but also encourage sleepiness at night, when the salt light is much dimmer.

As both SAD and blue light exposure can cause depressive effects, using a Himalayan salt lamp will likely improve your mood.

 

If you’ve noticed that your day is lacking a necessary rhythm, a Himalayan salt lamp can help standardise your circadian rhythm and help your body adapt to it. By enabling melatonin at some times, and preventing its production at other times, a salt lamp is the perfect way to wake, rise and sleep to a rhythm you are happy with.