Red light therapy is a term that has rapidly permeated the health and wellness space in the past decade, and for a good reason. Although skeptics might initially scoff at the idea of a simple light having the ability to increase health and wellbeing, numerous peer-reviewed studies will confirm that this modality can indeed be greatly beneficial in more ways than one.

To better understand red light's benefits, we must first dig deeper into the opposite end of the light spectrum, blue light. 

What is blue light and is it harmful?

While blue light can be found as the naturally occurring light spectrum exuding from the sunshine we love, it can also be counterproductive and degrading to our health when we are exposed to this spectrum of light at the wrong time of day. In addition, the natural sunlight we receive is balanced with the red and infrared wavelengths for healing and protection. When combined with blue, it washes out much of the hazards from above. Our bodies are sensitive receptors to light, with light being tied to and directly influencing our circadian rhythm, which in turn influences a countless number of biochemical processes in our body. 

Excessive exposure to blue light in the nighttime hours has been shown to suppress our body’s natural melatonin production, the hormone which regulates our natural sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin is not only a critical sleep hormone, but it is also a powerful antioxidant for health. Suppressing melatonin leads to disrupted sleep and reduced ability to fight off disease. Low melatonin levels have also been linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, certain types of senile dementia, and a correlation with breast cancer in premenopausal women.

In the last two decades, we’ve experienced a technological revolution which, with the advent of computers, LED TVs, smartphones, tablets, and modern day interior lighting, has subjected many of us to more blue light exposure in the evening hours. Prolonged blue light exposure and flicker from our multitude of screens can also lead to eye deterioration, macular degeneration, and other eye damage.

So how can we counteract these potentially harmful effects of blue light without reverting back to cave dwellings and torchlights? Red light might just be one piece of the answer for this modern era.

What are the benefits of using red light therapy?

Based on the science, we know that red light therapy has profound effects on improving mitochondria function, enhancing ATP production, modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS), and many more downstream effects. In short, exposure to red light may help to bolster the immune system, stimulate the body's healing process, and reduce inflammation.

There's even a new UCL-led study, which has found that staring at a deep red light for three minutes a day can significantly improve declining eyesight.

Although we haven’t yet figured out all of the exact mechanisms behind all of these benefits, one prominent theory popular in the scientific community attributes these incredible benefits to red light’s absorbance into a protein in our body called Cytochrome C Oxidase (CCO). CCO is a major component of the respiratory electron transport chain, and once it is provided with the additional light energy (from the red light spectrum), the CCO can dissociate from Nitric Oxide (NO) and up-regulate ATP production. This process is primarily thought to be the initial starting point for many of the mechanisms and benefits that red light has to offer.

The Truth About Red Light Therapy Benefits

Without getting too much deeper into the scientific weeds, red light exposure in the evening hours and prior to bed can mitigate the harmful effects of blue light, helping to balance your body’s natural biological processes. We all know how much of an impact sleep has on our short term and long term health, so this knowledge alone would be just one reason to consider introducing some red light exposure into your nightly routine.

Quality Red Light Products

There are so many red light companies to choose from when looking for your first (or next) red light purchase, with many brands stating claims based on flawed measurements and testing. When choosing a red light, it’s important to consider low flicker rate, low EMF, and the optimal red light spectrum. For all these reasons, we put our trust in our friends at GembaRed, who do extensive testing on their products along with testing many of the other red light products on the market (some of which do not live up to their claims). GembaRed produces some of the highest quality red light products on the market at an incredibly fair price point, so if you’re interested in learning more about red light science or adding a red light device to your life, we highly recommend checking them out.

We obsess over quality with our wellness tea blends and we hold only the highest of standards for any other products we vouch for. Wise Ape has recently linked up with GembaRed to offer their innovative Calm LED Red Light Reading Light as part of our special Wise Ape Deep Sleep Bundle. Most other "Amber" or "Low-Blue" reading lights will still have a trace of blue and a bunch of green in them, but the GembaRed Calm is the first book-light that is only red - this makes it optimal for avoiding melatonin suppressing blue and green lights!

The Wise Ape Deep Sleep Bundle not only includes the best LED red reading light on the market but also includes our Orange Dreamsicle adaptogenic tea blend, crafted with specially selected herbals to help you relax and prepare your body for a restorative night’s sleep.

If you're ready for deeper sleep and a healthier nighttime routine, explore the Deep Sleep Bundle now. 

Deep Sleep Bundle


December 08, 2020 — Joe Scola