Light therapy has been used for decades to treat a variety of conditions, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), jet lag, and sleep disorders. One type of light therapy that has recently gained attention is 40Hz light therapy. This therapy uses light at a frequency of 40Hz (exactly 40 flickers per second) to improve sleep and overall well-being.
40Hz light therapy works by exposing an individual to flashing light at a frequency of 40Hz, which is believed to have a positive impact on the brain’s sleep-wake cycle. The idea behind the therapy is that the flashing light helps to stimulate brain activity, which can promote deeper and more restful sleep.
The human brain has a natural rhythm known as the alpha rhythm, which oscillates at a frequency of around 10–13Hz. Studies have shown that exposure to light at 40Hz can entrain or synchronize the alpha rhythm, resulting in improved sleep and wakefulness. This is thought to occur because the 40Hz light therapy mimics the natural oscillation of the brain and helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm.
One study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that 40Hz light therapy improved sleep efficiency and reduced the time it took to fall asleep in people with insomnia. Another study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine found that 40Hz light therapy improved sleep quality and reduced the symptoms of depression in people with SAD.
40Hz light therapy is also being investigated as a potential treatment for other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that 40Hz light therapy can improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and promote neuroplasticity in these populations.
A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research in 2013 found that 40Hz flashing light therapy was effective in improving sleep quality in individuals with insomnia. The study participants were exposed to flashing light at a frequency of 40Hz for 30 minutes before bedtime for a period of four weeks. Results showed that the therapy resulted in a significant reduction in the number of awakenings during the night and an improvement in overall sleep quality.
40Hz light therapy is a noninvasive and effective way to improve sleep and overall well-being by entraining the brain’s natural rhythm. It has also shown potential in treating other conditions. Ongoing research is continuing to understand the mechanism of action of this therapy and support its use as a daily preventative therapeutic.