Using Light (Sunlight, Blue Light & Red Light) to Optimize Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #68

I describe the mechanisms by which different wavelengths of light impact the cells, tissues and organs of the human body, and how specifically timed light exposure of specific wavelengths can be used to improve sleep, enhance alertness, modulate hormone levels, and improve mood. I also explain the use of ultraviolet and infrared phototherapies to relieve pain increase testosterone and estrogen levels; improve skin health, appearance and wound healing; and how red light can be used to offset age-related vision loss and provide neuroprotection. Throughout the episode, I describe the mechanisms of light-based therapies and actionable tools that people can use positively impact mental and physical health.

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Article Links
Skin exposure to UVB light induces a skin-brain-gonad axis and sexual behavior:
Skin Exposure to Ultraviolet B Rapidly Activates Systemic Neuroendocrine and Immunosuppressive Response:
A visual circuit related to the periaqueductal gray area for the antinociceptive effects of bright light treatment:
Light exposure during sleep impairs cardiometabolic function:
Light-emitting diodes in dermatology: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials:
Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring:
Weeklong improved colour contrasts sensitivity after single 670 nm exposures associated with enhanced mitochondrial function:
Red light: A novel, non-pharmacological intervention to promote alertness in shift workers:
Gamma Entrainment Binds Higher-Order Brain Regions and Offers Neuroprotection:

Other Links
Light pads:
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00:00:00 Using Light to Improve Health
00:04:31 The Brain-Body Contract
00:05:17 AG1 (Athletic Greens), Thesis, LMNT
00:09:56 Physics of Light, Electromagnetic Energy
00:12:23 Wavelengths of Light
00:15:38 How Light Penetrates Tissues
00:20:13 Light & the Body: Direct & Indirect Signals
00:28:35 Light, Seasonality & Melatonin
00:33:40 Melatonin: Regulatory & Protective Effects
00:38:49 Tools: Optimizing Melatonin Levels
00:44:49 Sun (UVB light) Exposure, Mating Behavior, Testosterone & Estrogen
00:58:09 Seasonality, Romantic Passion & Testosterone
01:02:13 Tool: Skin Sun Exposure & Testosterone
01:06:13 Light & Improved Pain Tolerance
01:11:55 Protocol: Sun Exposure & Chronic Pain
01:12:48 Tools: Sunlight (UVB), Blue-Light Blockers, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
01:19:44 Light & Enhanced Immune Function
01:23:30 Tool: Light During Winter Months
01:26:18 Light Therapies: Local vs. Systemic Exposure
01:28:54 Tool: Improving Mood, Timing of Natural & Artificial Light
01:32:44 Light Conditions & Sleep Optimization
01:39:00 Infrared Light, Skin & Wound Healing
01:46:00 Infrared Light Therapy & Skin, Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT)
01:49:20 Infrared Light & Age-Related Vision Loss
01:59:36 Tools: Infrared Panels, Morning Exposure
02:05:22 Infrared Light at Night, Shift Work
02:08:35 Light Flicker Phototherapy & Neuroprotection
02:19:07 Phototherapies for Health
02:20:50 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify Reviews, Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Patreon, Thorne, Instagram, Twitter, Neural Network Newsletter, Brain-Body Contract

The Huberman Lab Podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac –

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