Good sleep is something most people take for granted. After all, the assumption is that anyone should be able to fall asleep as soon as they’re in their bed. However, it’s not usually that simple. In addition to things like stress and sleep disorders, the environment where you sleep also plays a crucial role in whether or not you’ll have a good night’s sleep. Light, depending on its presence and intensity, can make a difference in having good sleep or not. That’s why some lights are manufactured in such a way as to encourage sleep. For more on this, you can get the info here.
What Constitutes a Peaceful Sleep Environment?
Several elements contribute to a peaceful sleep environment. These include:
-Sleeping materials like mattresses and pillow
Noise (or a lack thereof) can be a crucial factor too; it’s hard to fall asleep when there’s a continuous noise disturbance.
Of all these factors, light is probably the most important. The right type of light in the right amounts can be crucial to inducing and maintaining good sleep.
How Does Light Affect Sleep?
Given the prevalence of artificial sources of light these days, it’s easy to forget that this wasn’t always the case. Up until the invention of the light bulb, the sun was the main source of light. This meant that people had to model much of their activities after the sun’s patterns.
The human body has the circadian rhythm which is responsible for regulating the sleep cycle. The efficiency of this rhythm is in part an evolutionary trait corresponding to when the sun rises and sets. That’s why the human body generally perks up in the morning at sunrise and winds down at dusk during sunset.
With modern technology has come the introduction of artificial light which is present in nearly all homes. This means that sunlight doesn’t play a prominent role in many people’s sleep patterns as it did in the past.
Natural Light and Sleep
Natural light is mainly from direct sunlight. It contains all the colors of the spectrum as well as wavelengths like ultraviolet (UV) rays and infrared. Natural light is also dynamic, tending to vary in intensity at different times of the day. All these characteristics enable natural light to exert some effects on the human body. For example, exposure to natural light helps to regulate certain hormones like melatonin. Suppressing melatonin’s production is key to wakefulness during the day.
As the sun sets, the decreasing light intensity signals the body to produce more melatonin, thus preparing the body for decreased wakefulness hence sleep at night.
Red Light and Sleep
Red light is made up of low-frequency and does not seem to have an energizing effect. Given its almost non-existent impact on the circadian rhythm, red light doesn’t interfere with sleep. A common problem associated with sleep issues due to light is that exposure just before bedtime tends to increase wakefulness. Given its lack of interference with sleep, having a red light source in the bedroom is better than other types of artificial light. A good example is LumiWorld’s bunny-shaped lamps. It can offer a source of red light that’s appropriate for your bedside. You can always adjust its intensity accordingly.
In addition to being sleep-friendly, red light also has other health benefits. For instance:
i) Pain relief: Red light is useful in some therapies to alleviate pain due to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
ii) Prevention of cold sores: People suffering from cold sores due to the herpes simplex virus can also benefit from red light therapy.
iii) Improved skin health: Skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and sunburns can benefit from red light exposure.
Alle such benefits contribute toward better sleep.
Blue Light and Sleep
Blue light is found in abundance in many of the devices used at home and the workplace. It carries more energy and has a higher frequency. These characteristics make blue light an energizing one. This means that it boosts attention, something that’s not good for inducing sleepiness. Common sources of blue light include:
ii) Computer monitors and tablets
iv) Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) sources
Given its energizing effects, blue light disrupts the circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. Increased exposure to it is likely to lead to reduced sleep quality.
If you’re looking for improved sleep quality, it’s best to opt for warm colors of the spectrum. For example, LumiWorld night lights come in different types; you can choose ones with red lights to experience better sleep.