Before I started the near infrared routine (~5 minutes every other day), 5-6 hours of coding per day was all I could do - eg after coding for 8h, I noticed serious cognitive and emotional decline, and might need to do less the following day. Not anymore - nowadays I can be productive whenever I’m awake, with little side effects. Near infrared radiation is safe (thousands of studies demonstrated only very mild side effects), and is even used to treat Alzheimer’s. I have no idea why its beneficial effects are not more widely known - for some people, it’s life changing.
Sidenote: 850nm light works way better for me than 830nm.
Transcranial infrared laser stimulation is a new non‐invasive form of low‐level light therapy that may have a wide range of neuropsychological applications. It entails using low‐power and high‐energy‐density infrared light from lasers to increase metabolic energy. Preclinical work showed that this intervention can increase cortical metabolic energy, thereby improving frontal cortex‐based memory function in rats. Barrett and Gonzalez‐Lima (2013, Neuroscience, 230, 13) discovered that transcranial laser stimulation can enhance sustained attention and short‐term memory in humans. We extend this line of work to executive function. Specifically, we ask whether transcranial laser stimulation enhances performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task that is considered the gold standard of executive function and is compromised in normal ageing and a number of neuropsychological disorders. We used a laser of a specific wavelength (1,064 nm) that photostimulates cytochrome oxidase – the enzyme catalysing oxygen consumption for metabolic energy production. Increased cytochrome oxidase activity is considered the primary mechanism of action of this intervention. Participants who received laser treatment made fewer errors and showed improved set‐shifting ability relative to placebo controls. These results suggest that transcranial laser stimulation improves executive function and may have exciting potential for treating or preventing deficits resulting from neuropsychological disorders or normal ageing.
Humans evolved while being baked in the sun, it'd be surprising if eliminating sunlight almost completely didn't come with some downsides.
Over a period of 20 years, you will double your risk of dying if you avoid sun exposure.
eg, This study used an array of 500mW LEDs and a 10 minute exposure to achieve 13 J/cm^2.
Actually light passes through skin rather easily. You can test this by putting a flashlight up to your hand. Light even acts as a catalyst for nutrients in your body according to some recent studies:
I'm usually convinced there are a ton of really smart people on HN... much smarter than myself. Yet, this thread is one of those few times where I'm found doubting.
Either I am just totally missing the facts here, or yea... there's some wild placebo + self convincing going on.
Then post pictures of yourself holding a remote to your head so that you can help educate others about your medical breakthrough.
Then use the WiFi on it and make it controllable through Alexa. Hands free operation!
You might want to check out 1064nm laser stimulation as well (instead?), based on the research done in "Transcranial laser stimulation improves human cerebral oxygenation".
0 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066697/
Either it's entirely the placebo effect, or it somehow actually does something and you're cooking your brain to wage slave even harder
They are describing a personal experience so that others may research it further should they choose to.
I agree they haven't shared any objective evidence to add credibility to their claims, but our response should be to ask for more evidence, not to mock and sneer.
"cooking your brain to wage slave even harder"
Not just mean, but wrong; as another commenter pointed out, they seem to be self-employed, and for all we know, could have a serious reason (e.g., financial challenges, important work) why it matters a lot to be highly productive, at least occasionally (note they literally wrote "It’s not something I really want to do, but sometimes it’s useful”).
For what it's worth, here's an article from 2014 that examines research into this kind of practice and finds evidence for its efficacy .
Other studies have found evidence that transcranial infrared energy may be beneficial for cognition  or illnesses such as Alzheimer's  and MS .
That said, it's not the kind of thing I would try, at least not regularly, as I take the view that artificial interventions like this likely carry some kind of side-effect or cost that renders negative or at-best neutral over the long-term (I feel the same way about pharmaceuticals and stimulants like caffeine).
But I have used infrared light in other ways to address issues like muscle tension and inflammation, which is common and often recommended by mainstream doctors.
But please, keep comments like this off HN. It's meant to be a place for curiosity and respectful discourse. The derision and contempt you displayed has no place here.
Since you mentioned wage slaving - I chose coding performance as an example, but I could also have mentioned improved guitar playing skills. Or being a better listener. On average, I don't code that much more now, maybe 6h per day (as a freelancer, there's also lots of other things to do).
"This one simple trick..."
Keep the personal attacks off here. There is no need for this.
Don't listen to these bums, there are much more people that agree with you. Its just that butt-hurt is a greater comment motivator than agreement.
This method seems to help your brain work more because it increases its metabolism but that might also cause your brain to age faster right?
The harder you work something, the faster you wear it down.
Is my logic flawed or am I missing something? Just curious.
Here is a study where near infrared light actually increased lifespan for fruit flies:
Ageing is an irreversible cellular decline partly driven by failing mitochondrial integrity. Mitochondria accumulate DNA mutations and reduce ATP production necessary for cellular metabolism. This is associated with inflammation. Near-infrared exposure increases retinal ATP in old mice via cytochrome c oxidase absorption and reduces inflammation. Here, we expose fruitflies daily to 670 nm radiation, revealing elevated ATP and reduced inflammation with age. Critically, there was a significant increase in average lifespan: 100–175% more flies survived into old age following 670 nm exposure and these had significantly improved mobility. This may be a simple route to extending lifespan and improving function in old age.
Perhaps some people have abnormally SLOW brain aging / metabolism. This would be a way for them to get back to normal?
I'm curious to try it, so far I mostly see positive responses from those who have but I am yet to invest more time into researching it.
Old USENET folks will remember having to say "Trkey" and "Kbo" to avoid certain people finding the thread. I think on Hacker News, we will need to say "R*st"