Your campus, Your story
Story by Camille Wachholz
Photo by Lexi Carter
As the semester gets busier, students tend to look for ways to destress. Essential oil diffusers and scented candles are always among popular decorations/stress relief items, but Himalayan salt lamps are relatively new and trendy.
Himalayan salt is known for its distinctive pink color, which makes it an attractive base for a lamp. A Himalayan salt lamp is essentially a large, hollowed out salt crystal with a lightbulb inside. As the bulb heats, the salt will absorb dust, pollen and other contaminants from the air while also emitting negatively charged ions.
How does this work?
The salt crystal attracts water molecules from the air and then absorbs them. Any dust, allergens or other particles the water may have been carrying will be locked into the salt while the water evaporates back into the air. Since Himalayan salt lamps cleanse the air, they can potentially help with allergies and asthma symptoms.
To Senior Morgan Gilreath, her Himalayan salt lamp is more than just a decoration; she also uses it soothe her allergies.
“I got my lamp as a gift for high school graduation,” Gilreath said. “I have asthma and pretty bad allergies, and I’ve noticed a significant difference in my mood and breathing day to day.”
A Himalayan salt lamp doesn’t have to be used on its own, but can be paired with other beneficial products.
“I often use an essential oil diffuser as well and I think they pair quite nicely,” Gilreath said. “I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has allergies, asthma, any breathing related problems, or just wants a cute lamp.”
CMU alumni Alyssa Brown also utilizes the lamp for clearing up allergies that she has had for years.
“It sounds weird, but I do think the air seems cleaner, which helps with allergies since the lamp is next to my bed,” Brown said.
Along with helping allergy symptoms, these lamps have other benefits including creating a better environment for sleeping.
“The mellow, relaxing glow from my lamp helps calm me down,” Brown said. “Since it’s a yellow toned light, it also helps me to fall asleep and put my phone away,”
Blue light from our electronic devices suppresses melatonin production and makes it harder to fall asleep. Putting away your laptop or phone an hour or two before bed will make a huge difference.
Addicted to technology? Switching your device to night mode will change the light to a more yellow tone, which shouldn’t adversely affect melatonin. The gentle light from a salt lamp can also help with better sleep. Turning off your room’s main light and leaving only the salt lamp creates a soothing environment that will spark melatonin production and better sleep.
Even if you sleep well, everyone can benefit from natural beauty and the contentment it brings.
“As a recent college graduate, I need unique and cool items to decorate my new home,” Brown said. “I love nature and my Himalayan salt lamp brings that aspect inside.”
Aside from purifying the air and helping you sleep better, Himalayan salt lamps are also fun to look at. Surrounding yourself with things that boost your mood and make your environment look better are a surefire way to help destress.
Considering all the benefits, these lamps sound expensive. However, they’re fairly affordable on a college budget. Prices online range from about $15-$35, depending on size, and amazon has a wide selection. You can also find them locally at places like Walmart or Kohl’s.
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