How Mass Media is Embracing Sunlight
Last week, a potential investor challenged us with a question. “I know about the importance of light for health, but hardly anybody else does. Where’s your market?”
We told him light and health is not only an exciting and rapidly growing area of research. It’s also an area that has caught the attention of the media. Science and health reporters, both online and in print, are starting to educate the world about “the positive link between light and health.”
Two days later, we received an email from an old friend. “Big article in the latest Economist about the importance of sunlight for our mental and physical health.” Happily, what we said to the investor is really true. The quote in the last paragraph is from that article, The Light Therapeutic, written by Rosie Blau. It’s an excellent article, well worth reading.
Blau interviews several important light scientists, including Satchin Panda who discovered the melanopsin receptor, the non-visual light receptor in the retina that responds to blue light and helps regulate our biological clock. Panda told Blau, “You don’t hear a psychiatrist asking how much light you get.” At least in our offices, you do. Panda goes on to say, “It affects so much of our psychology, physiology, and mood. But we take it for granted.”
Follow the link to Blau’s article for more, including tantalizing studies about the power of sunlight through a hospital window to improve healing (“People recuperating from spinal and cervical surgery in bright rooms took fewer painkillers every hour; in sunny Alberta in Canada female heart-attack patients treated in an intensive-care unit recovered faster if they were exposed to lots of natural light.”)
Our thanks to Rosie Blau for spreading the word.