Its influence on body and mind
Our universal need for light and the influence of light on our wellbeing
Since ancient times we have known that light influences us, but not how or why. Gemma Venhuizen has researched what exactly light is and what effect it has on our sleep, our mood, our senses and our brains. Is there a difference between natural and artificial light? And how can we use light to optimal effect, at home, in the street and at work?
Light is as essential to us as the air we breathe. We have known since time immemorial that light affects our well- being, but not the how or why. We are slowly starting to find out more and more about the underlying mechanisms.
Like many people, Gemma Venhuizen has noticed that light influences her mood. On dark days she feels down, and on sunny days she cheers up. She has researched the influence of light on our wellbeing, looking at exactly what it does to us, mentally and physically. For this book she spoke to psychologists, sleep researchers, dermatologists, biologists and engineers to find out more about the universal need for light (and darkness) and to take stock of the degree to which light is crucial to good health.
From sun worship to seasonal depression, Gemma Venhuizen has studied many facets of light. Her book was written out of a fascination for this everyday yet magical phenomenon. There are few authors who can make complex scientific material intelligible without simplifying it, and write beautifully and engagingly too. Science journalist Gemma Venhuizen is one of them.
She shows how bright light can lessen our appetite and increase our libido; explains why light therapy is just as effective as antidepressants and how old people with dementia can benefit from the right kind of lightning.