This happened to all of us, at least once. You come home, grab some food or a drink and you sit in front of the screen for just ‘five minutes’. Then, you wake up the following morning. You know the feeling, right?
How many times have you fallen asleep with the television or lights on, just before you went to bed? But, have you ever stopped and thought about what are you doing to your body and your sleep cycle when you fall asleep while the lights are still on? Read on discover.
Sleeping With Lights On
Light is probably one of the most important things when it comes to having a proper and steady sleep and dream. When it comes to regulating sleep and your biological sleep the key factor is light, or darkness. Our bodies are designed as perfect biological machines that are trained to understand when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s the time to be awake.
For example, dark is the time of the day that your body instantly connects with night and sleeping hours. Therefore, one of the most popular sleep gadgets is Blue Light Blocking Glasses that are designed specially to trick the brain to go to sleep, if it refuses.
That being said, if you expose yourself to light or darkness in an expose yourself to additional light when you shouldn’t you are directly interfering with your sleep. Moreover, strong exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to parts of that brain that are responsible for controlling hormones, including body temperature and other functions that play a huge role in making us feel wide-awake or even sleepy.
Too Much Light?
If you are questioning your light surrounding the chances are that there is probably too much light on your daily way. Simply said, you can’t or shouldn’t be exposed to the light all day or night. Unnatural light may have serious consequences for your health and long actions can even lead to depression. Furthermore, regulating exposure to light is an effective way to keep circadian rhythms in check.
There are some steps that you can undertake to get the needed light at the right time.
Top 5 Tips For Getting The Better Sleep
- Seize the day – make sure that you use most of the day that you can. Simply, find time for sunlight. If you just can’t find enough light, think about the gadgets that may help you, such as a light-box or light visor.
- Keep your sleeping room dark – your sleeping area should be designed just for one thing, and that’s sleeping. Make sure that your room is dark at night. If needed, use light-blocking curtains, heavy drapes and even an eye mask if it can help.
- Don’t let your shift gets you – if your job requires frequent work shifts (including the night shifts) you can limit the light by simply wearing dark glasses to block out the sunlight on the way from work to home. This is a simple, yet effective way to block the light before you sleep. Have a routine to avoid drift off with television or lights on.
- Limit yourself – limit tech use right before you go to sleep. Before bedtime, limit television viewing and computer use, especially in the bedroom. Scrolling or screen watching is what will interfere with your sleep and its quality.
- Have a good sleep habit – having good habits is important in every area of life, especially when it comes to your sleep as proper sleep is responsible for so many proper bodily and mind functions. Habits are especially important for children and infants. Why? Sleep impacts their mental and physical development directly. Therefore, it’s important to know how much sleep you need by age so you can track your body’s needs and coordinate them with your everyday obligations and lifestyle.
Top Three Health Problems From Sleeping With Lights On
If you believed that you are safe by leaving a LED bulb on while you are sleeping – think twice, because the number of researches proving the negative effects of light on sleep increases every day.
Researchers are discovering the negative effects all the time and they are constantly sharing their discoveries with the world people could know how to improve their sleeping habits and how to lower the impact of negative effects on their sleep. Moreover, people must be reminded that sleep is a precious link that’s directly linked to your health.
If you want to maintain good care of your health you should take care of your sleep. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand why it’s wise to understand how light can negatively affect you while you sleep.
1. Hormonal Changes
As we mentioned before, the human body is designed to grow tired when it’s dark and awake when the Sun is up, so whenever you mess with it (you fall asleep with a light on) you are confusing your body and do more harm than good. Whenever you fall asleep with the television set on, the blue light is transmitted through the television (the same applies for cell phone and computer) to your body which can create strong changes in hormones of your body.
One of the most common changes may include a significant decrease in melatonin when you are exposed to the light. Yes, you need to be exposed to additional, or artificial light, for a significant amount of time to evoke a strong hormonal change but it’s not impossible.
2. Heart Problems
Whenever you fall asleep with a light on you are putting not only your hormones at risk but your heart as well. Every time you leave the lights on while you sleep, you are putting yourself to an increased risk of developing heart problems, even the severe ones. Poor rest can lead to heart complications and since light affects the quality of sleep, it can keep people awake due to its ability to crush melatonin.
3. Risk For Cancer
This is probably hard to believe, but sleeping with a light on can actually significantly increase your chances of getting cancer. As mentioned earlier, research has indicated that an internal clock is always dictated by light and helps to manage the understanding of time by directing cellular function like metabolism. Moreover, the light can affect the higher risk rate of getting breast cancer for women who reside by street lamps and street lights.
Melatonin is always produced at night and every time your body is exposed to light at night he is slightly less produced. Women that are exposed to light during the night may have a decreased amount of melatonin, which in turn weakens the body’s ability to ward off cancer cells.
4.Depression And Sleeping With Lights On
You should always bear in mind that leaving a light on or even being near strong lights when you are sleeping can increase your risk of struggling with depression. Light is one of the key factors that are responsible for poor sleep. Moreover, light impacts the brain’s regulation for mood. So, too much light at the inappropriate time – such as bedtime – can lead to unwanted effects of depression due to a lack of sleep.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be affected by any of these possibilities, but, surely, you are increasing your chances for it with each night when you leave the light on. Therefore, it would be always wise to limit your light usage during the evening at least. Make sure that you turn off television before you got to sleep and limit your cell phone use during the evening and use heavy curtains that will block the street light in case you wake up in the middle of the night. Also, if you want to support your sleep hygiene efforts avoid strong nightcap and have a tea for good sleep. Last, but not least – limit your cell phone use during the evening. That way you will prevent an excessive amount of light affecting you at night.
Frequently Asked Questions On Sleeping With Lights On
1. Does Sleeping With Lights On Affect Your Eyes?
The lower level of melatonin may be caused by light, and a lower level of melatonin leads to sleep disorders and overall poor health. Furthermore, bright light late in the evening, especially around midnight, can push your wake and sleep cycle back by half an hour or so. How it can affect your sleep the following day? It can make you sleepy later in the evening.
2. Is It Bad To Sleep With Lights On?
Sleeping while the lights are on may seem relaxing and even romantic, but in reality it’s one of the most dangerous things that you can do for your sleep. Since our sleeping cycle is always connected to light exposure, our bodies get alerted to wake up when you are already asleep. Therefore, we could say that sleeping with lights on is bad because it is confusing your body.
3. What Are The Effects Of Sleeping With Lights On?
Melatonin is responsible for putting our bodies in deep sleep and its heavy linked with light. So, if you are sleeping with lights on you are directly affecting your metabolism and eating patterns. If you think it’s needed, you could wear a light-blocking eye mask.
4. Is It Better To Sleep In The Dark?
Simply said, yes. Your body is programmed to sleep when it’s dark.
5. Should I Leave Lights On At Night?
If you must leave the lights on, make sure the source of light is far away from you. If you are living in a house, you can leave a porch light on. It’s good to alert burglars and it can serve you like a spotlight on the front door. Just make sure that the light is not too strong and it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.