I find that having a candle burning on my desk helps me to focus. That goes back to when I was 17 or so.
A few years later, I declared myself Pagan, which meant that I could have all the candles that I wanted!
“Homes with candles burning brightly are filled with sexy wood nymphs nightly,” said Al G. Manning, an occult teacher and author most prolific in the 1960s–1980s. (I can’t remember which book that was, Helping Yourself with White Witchcraft?)
In our “witches of Manitou” period, M. and I used to eat dinner regularly by candelight or illuminated by a Victorian kerosene lamp. Were we making ourselves healthier? Who knew?
Meanwhile, with the passage of time, more of the electric lights in our houses went from incadescent bulbs to the curly fluorescent ones to low-wattage LED bulbs. Good for saving energy, but not for your health?
There are some voices in the “health and wellness” crowd saying that melatonin is a powerful antioxident and that most people are not getting enough. Sure you can take melatonin supplements — many people do so to help them sleep, and if you do that, take them earlier in the evening, not just before bed.
But the best way to get melatonin is not through a pill, they say, but through exposure to sunlight and also infrared and near-infrared light. The new energy-efficient light bulbs do not produce as much of that spectrum as the old incadescent bulbs did.
Here is the argument, with quotes from various websites.
Two forms of melatonin exist in the body – circulatory (produced by the pineal gland), and subcellular (produced inside the cells and mitochondria); the majority of melatonin in the body is subcellular.
Or from another site:
Antioxidants can be produced from exposure to the sun!
“As a therapy, being outside in the environment, in nature, and being exposed to sun, is extremely important, probably just as important as eating healthily.”
Infrared light has the ability to penetrate the skull and access the cerebral spinal fluid, a reason why those with Alzheimer’s and dementia especially should get more sun.
My take-away is that sunlight is best, and you need to be out in it as much as possible.
Sunlight exposure also results in the production of serotonin and beta-endorphins, which promote mood enhancement and relaxation, relieve pain, and boost immunity. There is also evidence that vitamin D itself may help regulate the production of both serotonin and melatonin.
And candles, fireplaces, woodstoves, etc. are also good. So light ’em up.