How light impacts the quality of your sleep and body

 

1 Apr 2022 MEN’S HEALTH

 

Light plays a pivotal role in your body's circadian rhythm, which is your bodies natural sleep/wake cycle. light from the sun causes your body to become awake and darkness from the night causes your body to fall asleep. The way light alters circadian rhythm depends on the timing of light exposure. light is exposed early in the morning, it pushes the sleep schedule earlier. If light exposure is in the evening it pushes the sleep cycle backward toward a later bedtime.

Why is it important to remove artificial light from the bedroom?

Exposure to natural light from the sun during the day is beneficial to your sleep, however exposure to artificial light at night can result in the opposite. Blue light is a type of artificial light from your phone, charger light, alarm clocks, TV, and house lights. Exposure to artificial light at night tricks your body into thinking that its daytime, research indicates that light suppresses melatonin which is your bodies natural sleep hormone.

An imbalance in the circadian rhythm can lead to:

  • Sleep disturbance & trouble falling asleep
  • Appetite change
  • Mental illness disorders such as depression & anxiety
  • Heightened stress response
  • Weight gain
  • Digestive issues

blue light exposure cause health problems
How to reduce blue light?

Remove electronics from the bedroom or out of your sight. Your phone has night time mode in the settings, you can select for this to automatically come on at certain times of the day, for example 7 pm – 7 am. This ensures that the blue light switches to red light. Blue light blocking glasses are great to wear at night to protect you from artificial light projected from screens and lights. A program called F-LUX is great to download on your laptop screen which switches the blue light to red, this can also be set to certain times of the day. Your light bulbs can also be changed from blue to red, which has the extra benefit of energy efficiency. 


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