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How Long Does it Take for a Light Therapy Session?

Are you using your light therapy device properly? Are you having problems after your light therapy session? If any of the answers to the above-mentioned questions is “yes,” this article is for you.

Light therapy is completely natural and has no drastic side effects. However, too much exposure to therapeutic light can be a problem for your health.

So, how long should you administer light therapy on your body?

The ideal length of a light therapy session lasts for 20 minutes. However, depending on several factors, the therapy session length may need to be customized.

Let’s discuss this in detail.

How Long Should You Get Light Therapy?

Light therapy influences your body cells to gather energy and improve metabolism in your body. Therefore, you get to have the therapeutic benefits of light from light therapy devices.

Research has shown that 20 minutes of exposure in 10,000 light irradiances provide the best therapeutic benefits to your body. During this time, the light wavelengths reach the appropriate areas of your body and energize your body cells for health and skin benefits.

Although, at first, doctors recommend using light therapy on your hands instead of your whole body. It will help you identify if your body is suitable for light therapy.

It is also recommended to increase the light therapy session gradually. You can start with a ten-minute session to see if you feel any unusual sensations. Once you are comfortable with this new therapy, you can increase the therapy length by 5 minutes till you reach 20 minutes. 

You can prolong your therapy session to 25 minutes with your doctor’s advice. 

If you are getting full-body light therapy, it may take 40 minutes to get the benefits of light on both sides of your body.

If your therapy device provides less light irradiance, it may take more time to gain light therapy benefits. Some people may have sensitive skin that can be impacted by bright light. In those cases, they can find a device with low or customizable irradiance and can get similar therapeutic benefits for a longer therapy time.

If the irradiance is cut into half, meaning your device emits 5,000 lux light, you may need to double the time for your therapy. If your body is exposed to 2500 lux light irradiance, you will need to spend more than an hour to get the cherished health benefits.

Home light therapy devices consist of less light energy than professional light therapy devices. Therefore, professional light therapy devices will need less time to provide therapeutic benefits than home devices. 

Some devices offer more than one light wavelength to help users resolve different health issues. It can reduce the effectiveness of one light wavelength and increase the therapy session length.

Although this therapy is safe, light can heavily impact some users. They may experience temporary redness and burning sensation after a light therapy session. In those cases, they may need to stop having this therapy altogether or limit their therapy time to avoid burning.

What Happens When You Have Too Much Light Therapy?

Despite being a completely safe therapy, too much light therapy can hurt your wellbeing. Among the side effects, the most drastic ones are faced by people with bipolar disorder. 

When these patients are exposed to bright light for longer, they can show manic symptoms. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before giving light therapy to bipolar disorder patients.

Additionally, if you are suffering from an eye condition or have suffered in the past, your eye can cause irritation. Therefore, patients with glaucoma and damaged eyes from diabetes (cataracts) should consult an eye specialist before getting light therapy. 

Some people reported feeling irritated or euphoric when light therapy was administered. In some cases, bright light can cause eye strain, insomnia, sleep disturbances, and even headaches. In those cases, you will need to stop your therapy device immediately and take a rest till you feel better.

If you feel uncomfortable getting light therapy from a close distance, you can increase the distance of the therapy device to be more comfortable. However, when you change the distance of your light therapy device, the irradiance changes as well. Thus, you may need to spend more time under the therapy light.

Bottom Line

Light therapy has brought immense potential to help us with our optimum health conditions. Chance is that you may not face many problems when you get more light therapy than you need. However, it can eventually impact your sleep and cause mild irritation. 

Make sure to get a good light therapy device that emits the right light wavelength and follow the instructions that come with the device. If possible, contact your doctor before even getting the device and have a second opinion.

Make sure to adopt the best possible therapy session to ensure the safety of your health.

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