Unlocking Well-Being: Blue Zones & Light Therapy

Unlocking Well-Being: Blue Zones & Light Therapy

What are Blue Zones?

You might have come across the term "Blue Zones" through the compelling lens of the Netflix documentary Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones.

The term "blue zones" was coined by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow and journalist, during a 2004 exploratory project. Following an expedition to Okinawa, Japan, in 2000 to investigate longevity, he embarked on a global exploration of regions with reported high longevity, supported by National Geographic. 

Buettner and his team of scientists and demographers analyzed demographic data and interviewed numerous centenarians, ultimately identifying five regions renowned for both extraordinary longevity and a high quality of life in old age. These areas include:

  • Okinawa in Japan;
  • Ikaria in Greece;
  • Sardinia in Italy;
  • Nicoya in Costa Rica;
  • Loma Linda in the United States of America. 

These are extraordinary regions worldwide where people defy the odds of aging and live remarkably longer lives. In this exploration, we unravel the secrets behind these longevity havens and delve into the intriguing connection between blue zones, light therapy, and the pursuit of a healthier, extended life.

How Light Can Impact Overall Health and Longevity

In the blue zones, embracing the outdoors is a daily ritual. Centenarians would undoubtedly attribute it as one of their longevity secrets. Engaging in outdoor activities can lead to improved sleep, enhanced well-being, and heightened awareness of your surroundings, thanks to its positive impact on your circadian clock [1]

Did you know that 54.3% of sunlight is composed of infrared light? [2] This invisible yet beneficial part of the spectrum plays a crucial role in promoting health, longevity, and well-being. Infrared light has been associated with stress reduction, improved cognitive function, and various health benefits.

What is Infrared Light and Why It’s Important

Infrared (IR) light is not visible to our eyes, and has unique properties that make it useful for various applications. Recent research has shown that IR can stimulate nerves and provide therapeutic benefits to cells and tissues. It's noteworthy that different forms of applying IR have demonstrated clear clinical benefits.

Interestingly, devices using IR can harness the body's natural heat to emit far-infrared (FIR) light, which has therapeutic effects.

According to Tanaka, Y. (2012), infrared light (IR) can stimulate nerves directly, having the potential to inhibit cancer cell growth and enhance chemotherapy, while protecting the brain from conditions like stroke and neurodegenerative disorders. [2] 

Reduced Stress Through Sunlight and Outdoor Activities

A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders [3] establishes a connection between increased time spent outdoors and a reduced likelihood of experiencing a major depressive disorder over a lifetime.

With over 400,000 participants, the study found that the median time spent outdoors was 2.5 daylight hours. Each additional hour spent outside correlated with a decrease in antidepressant usage, increased happiness, and reduced fatigue.

During the initial year of the pandemic, a surge in outdoor activities occurred, with people having extra leisure time due to lockdowns and job losses. This rise in green space utilization reportedly contributed to overall better health.

Another study, conducted by The University of Colorado Boulder [4], revealed that outdoor exposure during the peak of COVID-19 positively impacted mental health amid pandemic-related stressors.

In the survey conducted between November 2019 and January 2021, involving 1,200 participants, individuals were asked about their opinions on green spaces near their residences. Many respondents reported going outdoors to alleviate stress, resulting in a reduction in cases of anxiety and depression.

Supporting the 'biophilia hypothesis,' which proposes that humans have an innate desire for connections with nature, the study suggests that the environment positively influences stress hormones and facilitates healing from diseases. The conclusive findings highlight the significance of increased access to green spaces, particularly during times of crisis.


Embracing Light for a Healthier, Longer Life

As we conclude our journey through the intricate relationship between blue zones, light, and the pursuit of a longer, healthier life, the evidence supporting the profound impact of light on overall well-being becomes clearer.

A transformative tool that can be used by anyone who wants the immense benefits of infrared light is the Neuradiant 1070 by Neuronic. This is a brain light therapy device designed for easy integration into your daily life. From the comfort of your home, you can unlock the potential benefits of light therapy, especially valuable for those seeking cognitive enhancement without unrestricted access to sunlight.

Operating at a wavelength of 1070nm, the Neuradiant 1070 offers a targeted approach, ensuring that every session contributes to the enhancement of your brain's performance.


[1] De Felicis, J. (2022). The Link Between Sunlight and Better Sleep. Blue Zones. Retrieved from https://www.bluezones.com/2022/11/the-link-between-sunlight-and-better-sleep/

[2] Tanaka, Y. (2012). Impact of near-infrared radiation in dermatology. World Journal of Dermatology, 1(3), 30-37. doi: 10.5314/wjd.v1.i3.30

[3] Angus C. Burns, Richa Saxena, Céline Vetter, Andrew J.K. Phillips, Jacqueline M. Lane, Sean W. Cain. (2021). Time spent in outdoor light is associated with mood, sleep, and circadian rhythm-related outcomes: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study in over 400,000 UK Biobank participants, Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 295, Pages 347-352, ISSN 0165-0327, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.08.056.

[4] Reid, C. E., Rieves, E. S., & Carlson, K. (2022, March 2). Perceptions of green space usage, abundance, and quality of green space were associated with better mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic among residents of Denver. PLOS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0263779

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