3Make You Physically Stronger
Not to beat a red horse, but red will actually make you faster and stronger as well. In one experiment, students were asked to squeeze a metal grip while reading the word "squeeze" from a red, gray or blue background. When the word was on a red background, kids squeezed harder and faster, and had to secretly wonder if they hadn't been tricked into jerking off a robot.
"Andy, why do you keep repeating your parents' names?"
And while blue typically does the opposite of red, it also has several unique beneficial physical effects of its own. Blue light helps wake you up ... even if you're blind. You do not have to actually "see" blue for it to alter your body chemistry. There are light receptors in the eye that have nothing to do with vision. When they detect light, especially blue, the receptors repress melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycle. This also has other benefits. People exposed to bright lights that utilized more of the blue spectrum consistently scored higher on memory tests -- guys who sat before an LED screen radiating an azure glow showed nearly a 70 percent improvement in some cases. In fact, blue light is so effective in this regard that researchers liken its effects to a drug.
And if you take blue drugs in a blue light, prepare to have your fucking mind blown, baby.
Unfortunately, all our new electronic devices use more of the blue wavelength because it's easier on the eyes and more efficient to produce (this is why half of the gadgets in your house have little blue LED lights that stay on whether you're using the thing or not). Which is why some scientists are worried that our iPads, laptops and smartphones may be contributing to sleep problems.
"Does anyone know what the bluest level is on Angry Birds? I have a surgery at 1 a.m., and I need to wake the hell up."
Speaking of how your body reacts to light, the right wavelengths can actually ...
Now we're getting into Star Trek territory. Different frequencies of light have actually been shown to help heal the cells of your body. NASA has been the leader in this research, because when you're out alone in space, you need every advantage you can get. And if your damaged cells could heal, say, 150 to 200 times faster, that would be a pretty good thing to have once we inevitably find some aliens to fight.
And when we start having sex with those aliens, it'll be equally useful.
NASA scientists found that that's exactly what happens when you expose cells to near-infrared light (light just beyond the red that we can see -- it's like a super red). High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS technology, condenses the power of 12 suns (not making this up) into a heatless device. By stimulating the cells with long wavelengths, it encourages growth and repair. They've used it to heal burns, diabetic skin ulcers and just about any other kind of hole you can imagine.
Specifically mouth holes. Five to 15 percent of cancer patients receiving radiotherapy develop a condition called mucositis, painful sores in the mouth, as if cancer wasn't enough. NASA discovered that just two weeks of using light therapy 88 seconds a day reduced pain in 96 percent of patients. Let's say that again. Powerful red flashlights can heal your flesh and ease your pain. Your move, Dr. McCoy.
"Crap, dial it back, we've turned him into a douche!"
Not to be outdone, blue has a few tricks up its azure sleeve as well. Blue light kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. Doctors have used it as a safe way to treat everything from plaque, gum disease and acne to the super-resistant staph infections MRSA and SARS. And in fact, purple and ultraviolet lights do it even better. Health officials have used UV rays as a disinfectant and to purify water for almost a hundred years.
You might recognize UV rays as the stuff that gives you sunburns. It's actually dangerous to most forms of life, even human cells. Blue is a better compromise -- it's safe to use on us, but microbes still don't like it. However, researchers have developed a special blend of safe purple and white light to disinfect hospitals. Chemical disinfectants can miss cracks and crevices, but this germ-slaying violet flashlight can shine into hard-to-reach places, helping to reduce the environmental transmission of pathogens. Purple: It's not just for talking dinosaurs and pimps anymore.
Which is why ravers never get sick.