Those who struggle to sleep should try turning out all the lights when going to sleep, as according to a new study sleeping with a light on can cause a person to not reach a deep state of sleep, and to wake often.
The study was carried out by South Korean researchers on ten participants. The participants were asked to perform the sleep test twice, each time under different conditions.
The first was with the study participants sleeping with a fluorescent light on only a few feet away, and the second test was carried out on the same participants but with no lights and them sleeping in complete darkness.
The researchers collected results by using polysomnography and found the following results, which were printed in the Journal Sleep Medicine;
“Sleeping with the light on not only causes shallow sleep and frequent arousals but also has a persistent effect on brain oscillations, especially those implicated in sleep depth and stability. Our study demonstrates additional hazardous effect of light pollution on health.”
This one study focuses on the direct impact of lights being on during sleep, but there is other research out there that also shows that having the lights on before falling asleep can take a big toll on the outcome of your sleep.
One example of this was an article published in the journal ‘Nature’. This particular paper was written by Harvard sleep medicine professor Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Ph.D., who in his paper highlighted how artificial light can stop the ever so crucial sleep-promoting neurons and instead, activates the type of neurons associated with being aroused and awake.
The National Sleep Foundation has the following tips for improving your night’s sleep:
- For an ideal night’s sleep, your room should not be lit at all with any light, and this includes televisions, and radio lights
- Your room should be as dark as possible to induce a deep sleep state – try black out curtains or thick, fully lined dark curtains or blinds to enable this effect
- If you find yourself waking earlier than you would like, then try increasing your exposure to bright lights early evening, but turning them off once you get into your bedroom
- If you wake frequently in the night to use the bathroom – ensure you do not switch any lights on when you do as this can cause you to not reach a deep state of sleep when you do go back to bed again
Many of the population struggles to get a good night’s sleep, and being in a world full of electronics is it any wonder why? Our poor brains are constantly being bombarded with AP’s, alarms and emails going off all day and night.
It’s almost like we are losing the importance of relaxing before going to bed. As just doing this, and switching off all your gadgets at least one hour before bed can ensure your mind is tuned into sleep mode, and not ‘go’ and ‘think’ mode like it has been all day when those gadgets are on.