How to turn on a dimming libido

Are you stuck in a sexual slump? Well, you’re not alone.

Low libido is a common problem among men and women. And there are a lot of potential causes — age, stress, anxiety, depression, prescription medications, too much exercise, too little exercise, alcohol — the list goes on and on.

But there is one cause you probably never suspected — a lack of light.

That’s right… just like Seasonal Affective Disorder or low vitamin D levels, a lagging libido is something you may experience because of the change in seasons, a generally unhealthy indoor lifestyle or any situation where you’re not getting enough natural light.

That’s because light patterns affect your body clock, and your body clock sets most of your bodily processes in motion, including the release of hormones—which play a central role as far as your sex drive is concerned.

But the good news is, there may be a straightforward solution to getting your sex drive back on track… one that doesn’t involve a prescription: Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy recently verified that a little light can go a long way when it comes to revitalizing a lagging libido.

They recruited 38 men with hypoactive sexual desire disorder or sexual arousal disorder — both of which cause a lack of interest in sex. They then divided the men into two groups, giving one group regular treatment with a specially adapted light box and the other group treatment with a light box emitting significantly less light.

Both groups received their light treatment for a half hour each morning. After two weeks, researchers tested their testosterone levels and self-reported sexual satisfaction and compared them to the baseline measures taken before the study started. The result?

The men receiving treatment from the specially adapted light box experienced significant improvement in testosterone levels and sexual satisfaction. In fact, their sexual satisfaction levels increased three-fold from just 30 minutes of morning light each day. That’s pretty amazing!

But things didn’t turn out so great for the men in the control group. They received treatment from the box emitting less light and saw no improvement in their sexual satisfaction or testosterone levels.

So sunshine could be the solution to your sluggish sex drive. But if you’re stuck indoors a lot you could also supplement your sunshine exposure with a full spectrum light bulb or light box like they used in the study. Try to get at least 30 minutes of bright light in the morning.

If you really want to get a handle on your low libido quickly, you may also want to try some natural dietary libido boosters, like:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Oysters
  • Grass-fed steak
  • Avocado
  • Figs
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  1. “Lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light.” European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2016.


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and