Glossary of Terms

TERMDEFINITION
ADENOSINE TRIPHOSPHATE (ATP)ATP is a complex organic chemical that participates in many processes and is the primary carrier of energy in cells. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer.
[Reference: Knowles, J. R. (1980). "Enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer reactions". Annu. Rev. Biochem. 49: 877–919. doi:10.1146/annurev.bi.49.070180.004305. PMID 6250450.]
AMBER LIGHTAmber light is also sometimes referred to as yellow light therapy. It encompasses the range of wavelengths from 570 nm to 620 nm.
ARTIFICIAL LIGHTArtificial light (or manmade light) as opposed to natural light, refers to any light source that is produced by electrical means. Artificial lighting has many different applications and is used both in home and commercially. Artificial lights are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors of light emitted, and levels of brightness.
BIOHACKINGAlso known as do-it-yourself biology, biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body's biology and feel your best.
BLOOD CIRCULATIONSystemic circulation is the part of the cardiovascular system which carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body, and returns deoxygenated blood back to the heart. [Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0023062/]
BLUE BLOCKERSEyewear or other technology that blocks high-energy visible (HEV) blue light from entering the eyes and provides UV protection.
BLUE LIGHTBlue light is a range of the visible light spectrum, defined as having a wavelength between 400−495 nm. Blue light has a very short wavelength, and so produces a higher amount of energy. Studies suggest that, over time, exposure to the blue end of the light spectrum could cause serious long-term damage to your eyes.
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMOften referred to as the "body clock," the circadian rhythm is a cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat—regulating many physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature. [Reference: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/circadian-rhythm]
CYTOCHROME C OXIDASEIt is a large transmembrane protein complex found in bacteria and the mitochondrion of eukaryotes. It is highly water-soluble, unlike other cytochromes, and is an essential component of the electron transport chain.
DERMISThe middle layer of the skin that contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, and glands that produce sweat, which helps regulate body temperature, and sebum, an oily substance that helps keep the skin from drying out.
DETOXIFICATIONThe process of removing toxic substances or qualities.
DNAAlso known as deoxyribonucleic acid, it is a nucleic acid that consists of two long chains of nucleotides twisted together into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between complementary bases adenine and thymine or cytosine and guanine. DNA is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person's body has the same DNA.
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM"It is the range of all types of electromagnetic radiation. Radiation is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes – the visible light that comes from a lamp in your house and the radio waves that come from a radio station are two types of electromagnetic radiation." [Reference: https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/toolbox/emspectrum1.htm]
EPIDERMISThe protective outer layer of human skin that contains melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, which gives the skin its color.
EYE STRAINFatigue of the eyes, such as that caused by reading or looking at a computer screen for too long.
FATIGUEExtreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.
FIELD DENSITYEnergy density is the amount of energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume.
FLUORESCENT (CFL)The emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation. It is a form of luminescence in which the emitted light has a longer wavelength, and therefore lower energy, than the absorbed radiation. Fluorescent materials may appear one color when bathed in visible light and another color when exposed to other kinds of electromagnetic radiation.
FREQUENCYThe rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second.
GREEN LIGHTPart of the visible light spectrum, green light has a wave length of 495–570 nm, and a frequency of 526–606 THz. Overexposure to green light before bed and at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm and sleep.
HALOGEN LIGHTHalogens (also known as a tungsten halogen, quartz-halogen or quartz iodine lamps) are types of incandescent light consisting of a tungsten filament sealed into a compact transparent envelope that is filled with a mixture of an inert gas and a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine. Halogens are known for moderately high efficiency, quality of light, and high rated life compared to regular incandescent lamps.
HEMOGLOBINHemoglobin is a protein inside red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues and organs in the body and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs.
HYPODERMISThe hypodermis (subcutaneous layer, or superficial fascia) lies between the dermis and underlying tissues and organs. It consists of mostly adipose tissue and is the storage site of most body fat.
INCANDESCENT LIGHTAn electric light with a wire filament heated to such a high temperature that it glows with visible light (incandescence). The filament is protected from oxidation with a glass or fused quartz bulb that is filled with inert gas or a vacuum.
INFLAMMATIONInflammation is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators.
INSOMNIAAlso known as sleeplessness, insomnia is a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping. They may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired.
JET LAGA physiological condition which results from alterations to the body's circadian rhythms such as long-distance trans-meridian (east–west or west–east) travel. Jet lag is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.
Reference: "Highlights of Changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM5" (PDF). American Psychiatric Association. May 17, 2013.
JUNK LIGHT"Junk light" consists of blue, green and violet lights that are emitted from artificial light bulbs, such as LEDs and compact fluorescents/fluorescent tubes. These types of light bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need but emit about 5 times the blue light we’re used to. They amplify blue light beyond what humans have evolved to handle.
JUNK SLEEPA physiological effect where proper REM is not achieved because one has been using consumer electronics right up until the moment of falling asleep. Additionally, often leaving these devices on, which continues to disrupt the sleeping process.
LED LIGHTLight emitting diode (LED) lights are incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications. An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs, and the result is visible light. LEDs produce light approximately 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. They can be purchased in many different colors, including red. Most white LEDs emit more blue than what humans are meant to consume over long periods of time.
LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is the application of low-level (low-power) lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emitting red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve wound and soft tissue healing, reduce inflammation and give relief for both acute and chronic pain. First developed in 1967, it is now commonly referred to as LLLT.
LYMPTHATIC SYSTEMA network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.
MELANOPSINA type of photopigment belonging to a larger family of light-sensitive retinal proteins called opsins. Melanopsin is found in photosensitive retinal ganglion cells and are particularly sensitive to the absorption of short-wavelength (blue) visible light and communicate information directly to the area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), also known as the central "body clock", in mammals. Melanopsin plays an important role in the setting of circadian rhythms as well as other functions.
MELATONINMelatonin, a hormone that’s made by the pineal gland in the brain,helps control your daily sleep-wake cycles. Your body’s internal clock (also known as your circadian rhythm) influences how much melatonin the pineal gland makes, and so does the amount of light that you’re exposed to each day. Typically, melatonin levels start to rise in the mid-to-late evening, after the sun has set. They stay elevated for most of the night while you’re in the dark. Then, they drop in the early morning as the sun rises, causing you to awaken.
MICROSECOND (MS)A unit of time equal to one millionth of a second (or one 1000th of a millisecond, or 1000 nanoseconds). These units of very fine time measurement are typically used in technology devices.
MITOCHONDRIAOften referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, it is an organelle found in large numbers in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur.
MUSCLE TISSUEA soft tissue that composes muscles in animal bodies, and gives rise to muscles' ability to contract.
MYOGLOBINA red protein containing heme that carries and stores oxygen in muscle cells. It is structurally similar to a subunit of hemoglobin.
NANOMETER (NM)A unit of measurement used to measure length that is equal to one billionth of a meter. Nanometers serve to measure extremely small objects, such as atomic structures or transistors found in modern electronic devices.
NEAR INFRARED (NIR)Also called infrared A (IR-A), near infrared wavelengths span from 760-1,400 nm. Most home therapy devices use these wavelengths. Generally refers to light within the electro magnetic spectrum wavenumber range of 800 to 2,500 nm. NIR is unable to be seen by the human eye.
NITRIC OXIDEIt as a messenger molecule, transmitting signals to cells in the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems. Nitric oxide’s role in dilating blood vessels makes it an important controller of blood pressure. Nitric oxide is also produced by neurons (nerve cells) and is used by the nervous system as a neurotransmitter to regulate functions ranging from digestion to blood flow to memory and vision.
ORANGE LIGHTOrange is the color between yellow and red on the spectrum of visible light. Human eyes perceive orange when observing light with a dominant wavelength between 590-620 nm.
PHOTOBIOMODULATIONPhotobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) is the best technical term for Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). It is a light therapy using lasers or LEDs to improve tissue repair, reduce pain and inflammation wherever the beam is applied.
RED LIGHTRed is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength of approximately 625-740 nm.
RED LIGHT THERAPYRed light therapy (sometimes called LLLT or low level laser therapy) involves emitting red, low-light wavelengths through the skin to stimulate cellular rejuvenation, increase blood flow, stimulate collagen and more.
RNAAlso known as ribonucleic acid, it is a nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its principal role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis of proteins, although in some viruses RNA rather than DNA carries the genetic information.
ROSACEAA medical condition in which certain facial blood vessels enlarge, giving the cheeks and nose a flushed appearance. It often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead, chin and other parts of the body.
SHIFT WORKERThis refers to anyone who follows a work schedule that is outside of the typical "9 to 5" business day. Some of the most serious and persistent problems shift workers face are frequent sleep disturbance and associated excessive sleepiness. Sleepiness/ fatigue in the work place can lead to poor concentration, absenteeism, accidents, errors, injuries, and fatalities. [Reference: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/shift-work-and-sleep]
SLEEPSleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings.
SLEEP APNEAObstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The "apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe. Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common than central sleep apnea. [Reference: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/sleep-apnea]
SLEEP BETTERThere's an epidemic and you may be part of it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Americans are in the middle of a sleep loss epidemic. Nearly eight in 10 Americans say they would feelbetter and more prepared for the day if they had just one more hour of sleep. [Reference: http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/top-15-better-sleep-tips/]
SLEEP CYCLEThe sleep cycle is an oscillation between the slow-wave and REM (paradoxical) phases of sleep, sometimes called the ultradian sleep cycle, sleep–dream cycle, or REM-NREM cycle, to distinguish it from the circadian alternation between sleep and wakefulness. In humans this cycle takes 1–2 hours.
SLEEP DEPRIVATIONA condition that results from not getting enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.
SLEEP HACKINGSleep hacking is the practice of modifying one's sleep through diet, exercise, and environment (light exposure) to help promote deeper and more thorough rest.
STRATUM CORNEUMThe outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of 15–20 layers of flattened/dead cells. The stratum corneum functions to form a barrier to protect underlying tissue from infection, dehydration, chemicals and mechanical stress.
ULTRARADIAN RHYTHMAny biological process that displays an endogenous entrainable oscillation of less than 24 hours. When we use this term we are referring to the 90-120 minute brain wave frequency cycles that occur when we are both awake and asleep.
VIOLET LIGHT (OR PURPLE LIGHT)Violet is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light between blue and the invisible ultraviolet. Violet color has a dominant wavelength of approximately 380-450 nm.
VISIBLE LIGHTThe portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Electromagnetic radiation in this range of wavelengths is called visible light or simply light. A typical human eye will respond to wavelengths from about 390 to 700 nm.[1] In terms of frequency, this corresponds to a band in the vicinity of 430–770 THz.
WAVELENGTHWavelength is the distance between successive crests of a wave, especially points in a sound wave or electromagnetic wave.
YELLOW LIGHTYellow light is also sometimes referred to as amber light therapy. It encompasses the range of wavelengths from 570-620 nm.
NITRIC OXIDEIt as a messenger molecule, transmitting signals to cells in the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems. Nitric oxide’s role in dilating blood vessels makes it an important controller of blood pressure. Nitric oxide is also produced by neurons (nerve cells) and is used by the nervous system as a neurotransmitter to regulate functions ranging from digestion to blood flow to memory and vision.