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Alcohol and Mental Health

Salt Lamp Benefits: The Soothing Glow of Wellness

July 14, 2023
9 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 14, 2023
9 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 14, 2023
9 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 14, 2023
9 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 14, 2023
9 min read

Picture this: You've come home after a long day at work. Emails flooded your inbox, your commute was a nightmare, and your stress levels were through the roof. Instead of crashing into bed right away, you decide to take a breather. You switch on your salt lamp, watch as the soft, warm light fills your room, and immediately start to feel your tension melting away.

Ahh ... relaxation! But what exactly is going on here? Is there something about these chunky hunks of pinkish-orange rock that makes them more than just a pretty night light? Let's find out!

The Science Behind Salt Lamps

Salt lamps are usually made from Himalayan pink salt, a rock salt from the Punjab region in Pakistan. They emit a soft, warm glow when lit, but their benefits may go beyond mere aesthetics: they interact with ions in the atmosphere.

Air contains both positive and negative ions. These aren't just abstract physics concepts — they can impact how we feel and function. Electronics, like your phone or computer, create positive ions. An excess of these might contribute to feelings of stress and lethargy.

Salt lamps, on the other hand, are believed to produce negative ions. These are the same type of ions found abundantly in nature, particularly around waterfalls or after a thunderstorm. These settings often leave us feeling refreshed and revitalized — no wonder people flock to Niagara Falls!

But does a salt lamp really generate enough negative ions to make a noticeable difference? Truth be told, the jury's still out. Some studies suggest that the concentration of negative ions may be too low to have a significant impact — more research is needed to confirm these claims.

Let There Be Light (Therapy)

Regardless of the ion theory, there's another angle to consider: the power of light. Salt lamps emit a warm, comforting light that some people find calming. This relates to a well-established form of therapy called light therapy, which has been shown to help regulate mood and sleep.

Though salt lamps aren't specifically designed for light therapy, the glow they emit can simulate a sunrise or sunset. This may help signal our brains to wind down and prepare for sleep, potentially improving sleep quality.

A Beacon in Your Journey

Salt lamps — whether or not they pump out enough negative ions to make a noticeable difference — could also help us on our journey to cut back on or quit alcohol.

Changing a habit as ingrained as drinking often involves altering the environment in which we live. For many people, coming home from work might be directly associated with cracking open a beer or pouring a glass of wine. Breaking that cycle may mean changing the cues we associate with drinking.

Here's where a Himalayan salt lamp comes in. Switching on the lamp creates a shift in atmosphere — one that can become associated with booze-free relaxation and healing.

The warm, dim light of a salt lamp can also play a role in your bedtime routine, signaling your brain to prepare for sleep. Improved sleep can have a profound impact on overall well-being, reducing the risk of falling back on alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Your Salt Lamp Routine

Now that we've brushed up on the science behind salt lamps, let's talk about incorporating them into your daily routine to help you get the most out of them.

  • Location, location, location. Place your salt lamp where you spend the most time. The living room, bedroom, or office are excellent choices.
  • Time for some light. Use your salt lamp during relaxation periods. Its warm glow can help set a calm, peaceful mood.
  • Wind-down routine. Switch on your lamp an hour before bedtime. This may help signal your brain to prepare for sleep.
  • Embrace the quiet. Use your lamp during quiet times like reading, meditating, or practicing yoga. It can enhance your sense of calm and focus.
  • Safe use. Make sure your lamp is on a sturdy surface away from flammable materials. Safety first!
  • Keep it clean. Remember to clean your salt lamp regularly to keep it working efficiently. A gentle wipe with a dry cloth is usually enough.
  • Experiment and enjoy. Everyone's response to salt lamps is unique. Experiment with different timings and settings to find what works best for you.

A Tool for Cutting Back

If you would like to use your salt lamp as part of your journey in cutting back or quitting alcohol, here are some ideas to try:

  • Create a new ritual. Instead of reaching for a drink after a stressful day, switch on your salt lamp instead. Sit in its warm glow and take some deep breaths to unwind.
  • Reset your space. Change can be symbolized in physical form. Use your salt lamp to signify a transformation in your living space, making it a sanctuary for recovery and healing.
  • Reclaim your night. Alcohol often disrupts sleep. Make your salt lamp a part of your bedtime routine. The dim light can act as a signal to your body that it's time to rest.
  • Embrace it as a symbol. Allow your salt lamp to represent your journey to an alcohol-free life. It's a glowing testament to your commitment to health and well-being!

Lighting Your Path

Salt lamps are intriguing and can potentially offer some benefits, but they're not a silver bullet for health and well-being. They should be seen as a complement to a healthy lifestyle, not a replacement for good nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep.

But while a Himalayan salt lamp is not a magic stress reducer or cravings buster, it can be a part of a holistic approach. Sometimes, the smallest changes can lead the way. So go ahead, switch on your salt lamp, take a deep breath, and embrace the calm. After all, we could all use a bit of light in our lives, couldn't we?

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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