Reporting from Healthline, it is mentioned that sleeping with the alias light is on will make it harder for the brain to rest and get a deep sleep. This is because light exposure inhibits the production of melatonin which functions to stimulate sleep.
The American Medical Association says disruption of the sleep cycle due to night sleep lighting can increase health risks ranging from depression, cancer, reproductive problems, to obesity. This is the explanation why a night’s sleep without lighting is more recommended.
Exposure to Light and Body Cycle
According to Drake, PhD, a researcher on sleep from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said that the basic rhythms of the human body including the sleep cycle and waking are closely related to light exposure.
Usually the body produces the hormone melatonin (as a lullaby) which prepares itself for sleep. Lighting suppresses melatonin where bright light at night encourages the sleep cycle and half an hour earlier. This makes you sleepy early the next night.
On the other hand, bright light in the morning, advancing the sleep cycle makes you want to sleep faster at night. Exposure to this light ultimately makes sleep habits chaotic. The end result is an irregular wake-up cycle that impacts on poor health.
Adjust Lighting for Quality Sleep
Melatonin is a natural hormone that is controlled by exposure to light which helps regulate the wakefulness sleep cycle. The brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark so it makes you sleepy and less melatonin when the light makes you more alert.
It is very important to regulate how the lighting in the house and when resting to get quality sleep. How to?
When in the morning, expose yourself to sunlight. The earlier you wake up, the better. You can expose yourself to morning light while having morning activities, such as breakfast or sports.
Allow as much natural light as possible to enter your home or workspace. Open the window curtain and try to move the table closer to the window. In the evening, avoid staring at a bright screen 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Blue lights emitted by cellphones, tablets, computers, or TVs will be very annoying. You can minimize the impact by using a device with a smaller screen, decreasing the brightness, or using light-changing software such as f.lux.
Don’t make it a habit to watch until late at night. Light from TV not only suppresses melatonin, but many programs stimulate it to stay active rather than relax. Try listening to music or audio books instead.
Do not read with electronic devices. Tablets that have excessive backlight can interfere and make you stay active and difficult to get sleepy. When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
Use curtains or heavy curtains to block out the light from the window or try sleeping masks. It’s a good idea to consider covering up electronics that emit light to maximize your sleep.
If you need lighting to move safely at night, try installing dim night lights in the hallway or bathroom. If needed, use a small flashlight. This routine will make it easier for you to go back to sleep if you wake up at night and get quality and regular sleep.