I can still remember the day, fourteen years ago, that I stopped by a rock and mineral shop in the mall. I was on my lunch break and was short on time, but thought I would browse a bit since I hadn't been in before. The owner, a fifty-something hippie-turned-businessman, began chatting with me, and before I knew it we were standing next to a display of Himalayan salt lamps. I stood there with him, staring at these weird rock salt blobs, wondering why on earth he was showing them to me. At the time I just wasn't into blob-looking things, and my lack of shared enthusiasm made for an awkward moment (for me at least). That doesn't mean I didn't listen to his pitch.
"Positive ions," he said. "Negative ions."
"Allergies," he continued. "Air"
His list of salt lamp benefits went on, and I retained about as much information as anyone can during a lunch break chat with a stranger. I thanked him for his time and kindness and left the store empty handed that day.
I might have initially been a bit dismissive, but a few days later I was intrigued by these magical salt lamps. And what did he say they do?
Salt lamps stayed on my mind for years. I'd think about them for a brief moment, think I should get one of those someday, and then forget and carry on with my life. It wasn't until my own business was in the realm of thought, when I knew I wanted to carry them in my shop, that I bought one for myself.
Now I’m neglecting Netflix and I’m blaming it on my salt lamp.
At night I’m not rewatching old episodes of That 70s Show. The new season of New Girl is finally streaming and I haven’t even bothered to check it out (even though I waited forever for it). No documentaries about ocean life or fuzzy animals. No sitcoms that I’ve already seen a million times lulling me to sleep. Nothing. It’s just me and this salt lamp. And I sleep.
Maybe it’s the warm light in the room. Salt lamps, I’ve discovered, make awesome night lights. The orange-pink hue is much more relaxing than a regular night light. The second I go to my bedroom all I want to do is get cozy in bed and fall asleep. My mind isn’t over active. I’m not making a list of all the things I need to do the next day or the rest of the week. I just sleep.This might not seem like a big deal to you, but I have always slept with the television on. Always. Falling asleep without noise is not something I have ever been able to do. I am comforted by characters talking about their predictable love lives. Laugh tracks are like white noise to me. And now, like I’m some kind of super adult, I don’t even have the desire to turn on the TV.
I know Himalayan salt lamps are supposed to improve sleep. Why I don’t want to watch TV in bed anymore is beyond me, and I haven’t found any other similar testimonials like my own. I suppose this is just what restful people do. They don’t watch TV at night. They go to bed.
That’s just my testimony after having one for a few weeks. So what are the benefits of owning a Himalayan salt lamp exactly? And what did that guy at the rock and mineral shop tell me fourteen years ago? Here’s the list.
- Purify the air
- Increase energy
- Improve breathing
- Reduce allergies
- Relieve asthmatic symptoms
- Improve mood
- Promote restful sleep
- Neutralize electromagnetic radiation
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Help fight seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
I’ll go ahead and add not having late night Netflix binges to that list.
The health benefits of salt lamps haven’t been studied much within the scientific community, but the general list is based on scientific studies of rock salt, air, and of the effects of negative and positive ions (salt lamps release negative ions which neutralize the positive ions), as well as countless testimonials.
I’m looking forward to seeing what other changes I might notice now that I have one. Will I be super energetic in the day? Will I always sleep eight hours at night? Will I ever catch a cold again? All I know for now is that if my Himalayan salt lamp does nothing more than get me to stop watching TV at night, that’s okay. At least I have a cool salt blob in my room now.