Although many people prefer to sleep in the dark, not many know that is it considered to be the ideal sleeping situation for your body. Recent studies have shown that exposure to light, while you are sleeping, has an effect on the quality of sleep you get and can even lead to depression or other mental ailments if you are not careful. This is why blackout curtains are popular in many countries, where the days tend to run longer during summer. It is also useful for people who live in cities and have street lights, neon lights etc. entering their bedrooms while they try to sleep at night.
Not getting enough sleep is considered to be a leading reason for depression by Wakefit. If you are still wondering how does light affect your sleep, you have come to the right place. The constant light in your room does not allow your brain to enter into deep sleep, and without enough deep sleep every night your mental and physical health goes for a toss. Taking the time to create the right environment plays a big role in helping you fall asleep faster and get the required amount of sleep every night.
How Much Light Is Too Much?
According to medical professionals, allowing about five lux of light into your bedroom at night can increase your chances of developing depression, especially if you have been sleeping in a dark room till then. The light from a candle at about a foot away is the equivalent of 10 lux. So once you notice the light in your room, it is time to consider investing in some good quality blackout curtains for your bedroom. Many parents use these curtains to help their young children sleep through the night.
The Connection Between Light & Sleep
Constant light exposure while you are sleeping tricks your brain and messes with your internal clock. This makes it difficult for the body to distinguish between night and day. It inhibits the production of the melatonin, which is a hormone that helps your body sleep, thereby resulting in psychological consequences. Interestingly, the effects seem to be more pronounced in younger people than older people. This is because eyes tend to be more sensitive when you are young and hence become irritated by light easily while trying to fall asleep.
When the room is not dark enough, you tend to wake up constantly throughout the night. This prevents your body from going into a deep sleep state. Unless the body gets the necessary hours of deep sleep every night, it can make you irritable and unproductive the next day. A good quality sleeping pillow will help you fall asleep faster.
In order to prepare your body for bedtime, it is a good idea to follow a routine that includes darkening your environment. This involves dimming the lights to help with the physiological progression towards sleep. A dimmer switch is useful for this purpose. You also need to avoid screen time to help your brain get ready for bedtime. Screen time has the ability to stimulate your brain and prevent you from falling asleep quickly. The blue light emitted from these screens also plays havoc with the body’s internal clock. If you live in the city, it might be difficult to achieve complete darkness in your bedroom. It is a good idea to invest in an eye mask and a good mattress for sleep.
At the end of the day, taking your time to create a dark environment before your bedtime will go a long way in helping your body get ready to fall asleep.