Both sunlight and artificial light have a significant influence on your sleep. Exposure to light helps us wake up. The light of the rising sun stimulates our mind and body. Light encourages feelings of alertness, energy, and wakefulness. If you are trying to go to sleep, light exposure may negatively impact your rest because it stimulates alertness. Staying alert as can pose a severe problem and keep you from healthy and refreshing sleep. Light exposure at bedtime can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Trying to sleep in an environment that is insufficiently dark can lead to frequent and prolonged awakenings.
Is it better to sleep in the dark?
Light and dark are critical signals for your “sleep clock.” Historically, the fluctuations in light across the solar day set our internal clock or circadian clock. Technological advances such as electricity and artificial light have forever changed our patterns of exposure to light. So it’s no surprise that artificial light in your sleep environment can negatively impact your sleep.
Why is blocking light so important for sleep?
Darkness is critical for sleep. The absence of light signals your body that it’s time to sleep. Light exposure at the wrong time can change your internal clock, which regulates sleep. Your body relies on this biological mechanism for falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking. Light can and will interfere with your “sleep clock.” Light at the wrong times will interfere with not only the quantity of your sleep but also the quantity too.
Nighttime light can be harmful to your health.
Research shows that nighttime light exposure can be harmful to your health. According to recent research, some light sources in the spectrum at night suppresses the production of melatonin. We understand that even dim light can disturb our sleep or circadian rhythm.
Can night lights disrupt sleep?
Melatonin, a structurally simple hormone, has some effect on your sleep. The pineal gland or epiphysis synthesizes and secretes melatonin. It is a critical hormone for sleep because it signals your brain when it’s time to rest. Melatonin transmits critical information about environmental lighting to various parts of your body. It can affect biological rhythms such as your circadian rhythms or the sleep-wake cycle.
Melatonin signals help initiate your body’s physiological preparations for sleep. Feelings of drowsiness increase, your muscles start to relax, and your body temperature drops. As darkness falls during the early evening, melatonin levels naturally rise. Melatonin levels continue to rise throughout most of the night, before peaking at around 3 a.m. Melatonin levels continue to fall during the early morning and remain low for most of the day. Evening light exposure delays the onset of the body’s transition to sleep and sleep itself because it inhibits the naturally timed rise of melatonin in your body.
What is the right amount of light for sleep?
Managing light exposure in your home, especially in your bedroom, is critical to creating a healthy sleep environment. With careful attention and a little bit of planning, you can create a bedroom that guards against unwanted light. Limiting light at night is important to protect the quality of your sleep.
Simple solutions such as shades and curtains on windows will work well to keep outside light from disturbing your sleep. Use window coverings that are heavy enough to completely block light. Correctly fitted window coverings can block slivers of a streetlight or the early morning sunlight from filtering in. Even brief exposure to light can disturb your sleep. Blackout curtains are installed in homes to provide this kind of thorough protection against unwanted light.
Nightlights can help make your sleep safer.
Nightlights can make your bedroom safer. They can help you make your way safely to the bathroom or your child’s bedroom. If possible, put the nightlight close to the floor in the hallway. Installing a small nightlight will help you avoid having to flood your sleep environment with unnecessary, sleep-disrupting brightness.
What are the best ways to create darkness for your sleep?
Your body needs time to ready for sleep. Having a sleep routine can help you fall asleep more easily. A gradually darkening environment is a great way to go. Dim your light about one hour before bedtime. The darker environment will encourage your body to start its physiological progression toward sleep. Install a dimmer switch on overhead lights to control their brightness. Alternatively, you can install low-watt, dimmable led bulbs in lamps.
What is blue light, and how does it affect your sleep?
The best way to avoid screen time the hour before bed is to power down laptops, turn off the television, and silence your phone for the night. The light from digital screens contains high concentrations of blue light. Research shows that blue light has a wavelength of light that is especially detrimental to sleep.
Should I cover my eyes when sleeping?
Wearing an eye mask at night can help protect from intrusive light. Choose a soft, flexible, and comfortable eye mask. Wearing an eye mask is a highly effective tool for limiting your bedtime light exposure.
How to find the best eye mask for sleeping?
If you are one of the many people who wish to get more and better quality slumber, you might want to try a high-quality sleep mask. The fact is that sleep masks offer a simple and inexpensive solution to a complex problem. Some people can’t sleep without wearing an eye mask for sleeping. Sleep masks are especially helpful for a person who needs to be surrounded by complete darkness to fall asleep.
What are the benefits of eye masks for sleeping?
One of the benefits of a sleep mask is that they are compact and lightweight. Eye masks are easy to throw in your carry-on luggage. You can bring your sleep mask with you anywhere, especially when traveling. If you ever tried a sleep mask, you know that it is easier to fall asleep on an airplane, bus, bright train, a bus when you can pull a soft, cozy sleep mask over your eyes to block out the world and drift off.
What is the best eye masks material?
Eye masks are available in several different materials. Suppose you’re concerned about keeping your skin in the best possible shape possible while asleep, buy a silk eye mask. Silk is gentler on your skin. It will prevent sleep lines or tugging around the delicate eye area. An added benefit to silk is that it will absorb much less of your eye and face cream.
Just because silk is a wonderful material for an eye mask, it doesn’t mean that other materials are inferior. If skincare isn’t your highest priority, cotton is a great material for eye masks for sleeping. Try one of the calming weighted cotton masks. They are quite popular because of how comfortable they are.
What kind of eye mask should you look for?
So what kind of eye mask should you buy for better slumber? I know that this sounds obvious, but you want an eye mask that actually blocks light. The only way to know this is to try on the eye mask and see how it fits on your face. An eye mask that doesn’t properly fit your face will fail to completely block out light.
You can buy eye masks that have the nose carved out. There are eye masks that lie flush against your cheek and brow bones. You should try several fabrics to find one that feels comforting to you. Many people prefer cotton, but velvet, fleece, faux fur, and silk are all very popular options.
Are wrap-around eye masks effective for better sleep?
Wrap-around eye masks immerse you in total darkness and help muffle noise at the same time. For this reason, wrap-around eye masks are particularly effective in blocking out both sound and light.
Pillow-size masks are another excellent option for you. They are shaped to rest over your head while still providing ample breathing room for you. Pillow-size masks work great to block both ambient light and sounds.
Your sleep mask doesn’t have to be only about better sleep. Companies sell eye masks with cooling gel inserts to help reduce puffiness. You can also buy eye masks with rounded eye patches so that long-lashed people don’t have to worry about getting their eyelashes smushed.
Do sleep masks work for everyone?
You may not notice immediate or major improvements in your sleep habits. Sleeping in an eye mask may make your sleep more enjoyable still. Many of us find the soothing sensation of a soft sleep mask over our eyes calming and comforting.
Does red light help you sleep?
If you want to sleep better, red light may help. Red light is an excellent light color for sleep because it has a far lower color temperature than regular sunlight. Install lights with a lower temperature rating and give off a warmer tint.
Color Temperature and Sleep
Exposed to lights with higher color temperatures can have a negative effect on your sleep. You can be exposed to red light at night without giving your body a jolt and altering your internal sleep-clock as higher temperature light does. Blue light from the phone, computer, and television screens is an example of a high color temperature light source that could be detrimental to your sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping and you’re surrounding yourself with high color temperature light every night, that’s likely a significant factor. If you switch to natural red light at bedtime, you can help your body ease into its sleep cycle more easily.
Medical research shows improved sleep from red light therapy in multiple clinical trials. Recent research from Brazil studied the effects of red light therapy and other treatments on patients who suffer from migraine headaches. The research concluded that not only did red light therapy reduce the number of headaches; it also was the only treatment that improved sleep disorders.
What is the best light color for sleep?
Generally, lights with a warmer tint are the best light color for sleep. For example, you could install red incandescent light bulbs or LEDs. Look for light sources that have been specifically designed to emit warmer, softer lighting.
If you are on a budget, you can use an affordable night light. You can directly plug it into a wall power outlet next to your bed. There is no need to change your existing light fixtures.
Is it healthier to sleep at night?
We understand that we need to sleep 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy. But does it matter when we sleep? Most of us sleep during the night hours most of the time, but not everyone. Shift workers, working the night shift, jetlagged travelers struggling, and many others are unable to sleep during the night.
Is sleeping during the day bad for your health?
According to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Division of Sleep Medicine study, a combination of insufficient sleep and sleep patterns can have negative health effects. Disruption to your body’s circadian rhythm may result in an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. This is bad news for rotating shift workers, as they tend not to get enough nighttime sleep. Unfortunately, they are forced to sleep abnormal times.
Sleeping during the day and fewer than enough hours are directly responsible for raising blood sugar levels and lowering metabolism. When you force your body to sleep during hours that conflict with your internal biological clock, your health suffers.
What is the most healthy time to sleep?
In a “perfect” world, each and every day you’d have the gift of an early bedtime and then an early rise, all recharged and rested for a successful day ahead. The healthiest time to sleep is during the night hours. The best time to fall asleep is between 8 p.m. and midnight. The ideal bedtime also depends on what time you need to wake up. If you have to wake up at 4:30 a.m., you would have a different bedtime than someone who needs to wake up at 7:30 a.m. Regardless, an early bedtime is healthier for you. Also, going to sleep when it’s dark outside is also easier for you to fall asleep.