Candles have many uses. They are used in setting the mood for romantic situations, because their soft, warm glow creates the perfect ambience for such intimacy (and this makes them very popular items in the setting up of candlelight dinners and the staging of marriage proposals). Candles also happen to be items that have a long history as far as time is concerned; as some of the earliest candles were made several thousands of years ago (we’re talking millennia), and this amazing invention (i.e. the invention of candles) is so old people do not know who first created it.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF BURNING CANDLES
The art of candle making has existed for many years, and at some point in time, candles were some of the main methods of providing indoor illumination. The earliest forms of candles were made from tallow or boiled down rendered fat, obtained from slaughtered cows and other livestock. In some parts of the world, the fat used in the creation of tallow candles was not obtained from terrestrial animals alone. In addition to livestock, fat for the creation of candle wax was gotten from aquatic animals or mammals such as whales; and this contributed to part of the reason why such animals were hunted down.
Other possible negative effects of burning candles include the following:
- Reduction of air quality
When candles are lit and burned, a lot of gases are produced. This is because candles contain volatile materials, which tend to be emitted when the candles start to burn. Scented candles, in particular, contain fragrances which are materials that are also volatile in nature; and while many of them have pleasant scents – which may have beneficial effects (e.g. they aid the treatment of sleep disorders, anger and other related psychological and physical conditions) – they also contribute directly to factors that may reduce the air quality of a place.
Apart from the scent of candles – or more precisely, the possible effects of a candle’s scent on the air quality of a space – candles are also known to give off gases such as; benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, acetone, alcohol, phthalates, lead and others, which can seriously compromise the air quality of the space where the candles are being burned (thereby contributing to air pollution and the accumulation of greenhouse gases and carcinogenic materials in the surroundings. Many of these substances can cause cancer, worsen illnesses such as asthma and other respiratory diseases, and add to global warming).
- Allergies and ailments
When candles are burned in the absence of proper ventilation for too long, they can have a lot of negative effects on the human body. This is because the effects of volatile compounds given off by candles can lead to nausea, headaches, allergies, cancer, developmental issues and many other health problems.
Also, due to the fact that candles consume oxygen when burning, the act of burning too many of them in an enclosed place for too long can result in a situation whereby all the oxygen in a space is exhausted.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF BURNING CANDLES
Nevertheless, candle burning can be a very positive and rewarding act when it is done the right way, using the right kind of substances (meaning completely natural plant based materials and fragrances derived from essential oils; which are burned in a well ventilated space for the right duration of time, under constant supervision – because no candle should be allowed to burn unsupervised). Some of these positive effects of burning candles include the following:
- Candle burning helps to relieve stress
One of the most important reasons why some people burn candles is because they are stressed and they want relief from all that stress and tension. The world is a crazy place today, and lots of people have to work harder than usual in order to make ends meet and achieve their goals. This situation is further worsened by the competition created by other people (and they fact that they, also, are trying their best to make ends meet and achieve their goals). This situation thereby results in a lot of stress that could be seriously detrimental to people in the long run; it could lead to the development of insomnia and health problems such as high blood pressure, which will exponentially increase the risk of cardiac arrests and heart attacks. Therefore, it is important for people to find healthy and suitable ways to de-stress (this way, they can refresh themselves and improve their attention span, which may wane over time. They also need to prevent burnouts), and this is where (natural) candles come in.
When candles are made with natural materials such as natural cotton fiber, essential oil fragrances and natural (plant based) wax materials such as coconut wax, soy wax and beeswax among others, they tend to have very good effect of human health; particularly when they are burned in spaces with very good ventilation (which will help in reducing the effects of over-use).
DO CANDLES MAKE YOU SLEEPY?
Due to the fact that candles can help people de-stress, it can be deduced (and has been established in certain spheres of life) that some of them also have a calming effect on people’s nerves. If all these are true (which they are), it is also safe to say that it is possible for candles to make you sleepy.
As a matter of fact, candles are in fact used in the treatment of insomnia (because they make people more alert, when they should be, by helping them in clearing their minds), which means that they may have positive effects on the overall quality of sleep.
Some experts claim outright that candles do indeed make people sleep. Part of the reason for this (according to them) is the soft glow of the candle flame, which can lull a person to sleep. Another reason for their claim has to do with the efficacy of scented candles; experts believe that the fragrance of scented candles can make a person sleepy.