How Himalayan Salt Lamps Can Help You Sleep
6 min read
Last Modified 5 November 2021 First Added 4 November 2021
In the last few years, Himalayan salt lamps have become a popular interior design trend. The lamps are made from chunks of Himalayan pink salt, which has a natural pink-red hue because of mineral deposits in the area. This gives off a soft, soothing pink glow when a bulb is shone through the rock, which many people find more appealing than traditional lighting.
Aside from being a beautiful addition to your room, it’s claimed that Himalayan salt lamps are beneficial for your health. From purifying the air to improving your mood, if you are struggling to get to sleep then a salt lamp might be the thing for you.
The main way a salt lamp contributes to a better night’s sleep is through the light it gives off. The pink-red colour of the salt diffuses the light into a soft glow that mimics the sunset and helps you unwind. Unlike blue light given off by electronic devices, warm-coloured light is conducive to relaxing and sleep.
Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep then try using a salt lamp in your bedroom and put away any electronic devices at least an hour before you want to sleep.
The biggest benefit touted by alternative health experts is that Himalayan salt lamps create negative ions in the air. This means that they change the electrical charge of the air because they attract water, which combines with the salt and evaporates, creating negatively charged ions. It’s also known to occur because of lightning, sunshine, and radiation. Some experts believe that negatively ionised air can have benefits such as better air quality and increased oxygen intake.
However, there’s little evidence that a salt lamp can ionise the air, especially at the size of typical retail lamps.
The ionising effect of a salt lamp is also meant to help relieve allergies by purifying the air. It’s claimed that a salt lamp can trap odours, dust, and bacteria, which can help you breathe easier and get a more restful night.
Again, there’s no scientific evidence that this is true. However, the larger lamps may have some deodorising and dehumidifying qualities because of the nature of salt.
This study looked into the effects of ionised air on mood disorders and had some interesting finds:
Results showed negative ionization, overall, was significantly associated with lower depression ratings.
Although not entirely conclusive, this means that if a salt lamp can ionise the air, there’s a good chance that it will help to improve your mood.
Sleep disorders are a major feature of depression, with up to 80% of people with mental health issues also suffering from chronic sleep problems. Improving your mood and mental status can go a long way when trying to improve your sleep, so adding a salt lamp to your bedroom could be what you need.
Himalayan pink salt must be mined from the Himalayas. Most of the salt we see used is from some of the oldest mines in Pakistan. Authentic Himalayan salt lamps should come with a sticker that indicates where they were made, so check for this when you purchase one or shop from a reputable online retailer.
Surprisingly, authentic Himalayan salt lamps are more fragile and dimmer than copycats. If your lamp has a bright light or a shiny, hard surface, then it’s unlikely to be a real Himalayan salt lamp. However, if you enjoy it, there’s no reason to get rid of your lamp, but be on the lookout for these signs if you try to purchase a real one.
There are no health risks associated with using a salt lamp, so don’t worry about having one (or many) in your home. However, there are a few other factors you may want to consider.
Salt lamps come in a variety of sizes from just 1kg to massive 125kg towers. The average retail salt lamps are between 3-7kg, which can be a safety risk to watch out for. Make sure that wherever you choose to place your salt lamp, it’s on a stable surface where it’s unlikely to fall or be knocked over.
Although Himalayan pink salt is edible, the lamps are not made to be consumed. If you have children or pets in the house, make sure that they are not licking the lamp or breaking off chips to eat. This can quickly lead to salt toxicity, which is when you have too much salt in your blood and can lead to serious symptoms.
The Ontario Veterinary College put out a statement on how to know if your pets are suffering from salt toxicity:
The first signs to appear with salt toxicity are usually neurological. These include altered mental status, staggering, vomiting, difficulty seeing, and seizures.
If you notice your pet behaving abnormally, immediately go to your vet.
Salt lamps are not inherently more dangerous than other electrical devices, but you should still stay aware of general safety rules. Where possible, buy your lamp from a trustworthy source to ensure the authenticity and safety of your lamp.
There was a recall of over 80,000 Lumiere salt lamps in 2017, so if you’re buying one second-hand, check any identifiers to make sure that it was not included in this.
Yes. If your salt lamp has all the safety checks required of electronic devices, then there’s no reason to worry about it being left on all night. Many people find the light calming, in which case it is best to leave it on until you fall asleep.
Salt lamps are also known to “weep” because of the way that salt attracts water, which collects on the surface of the lamp and becomes saltwater. Some people recommend always leaving your lamp on to keep it warm and reduce water on the surface, which may wear away the lamp. However, you can also try keeping it away from humid rooms (like the kitchen or bathroom) and regularly wiping it down when you notice water collection.