Here's an interesting fact: a 5-year study conducted on around 40,000 women revealed that those who slept with the lights or TV on had a 17% more risk of gaining weight.
How often do you fall asleep with the lights on? Maybe you were watching a movie, working on your laptop, or scrolling your device as you lay on the couch. It could even be that you find light soothing.
Whatever the situation, you're not alone. Many people prefer to sleep with some lights on. There's just one problem. This could be harmful to your health.
In this guide, we'll highlight significant side effects of sleeping with lights on as well as tips to help you transition to sleeping in the dark slowly.
Top Side Effects of Sleeping With Lights On
Sleeping with the lights on may be comforting for some, but it could also be impacting your health. Here's how:
The pineal gland in your brain is active at night to produce the melatonin hormone. Melatonin is significant because it regulates and synchronizes your regular sleep-wake cycle. This hormone's other critical body functions include blood pressure regulation, reproduction, and inflammation prevention.
Sleeping with the light on has been demonstrated to disturb the body's melatonin production. Dr. Joshua Gooley investigated 116 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30. The volunteers were exposed to the room and dim light for eight hours before sleeping for five days.
The results showed that exposure to light reduced melatonin production by 90 minutes. The study also discovered that light exposure reduces melatonin production by more than 50%.
Mental Health and Mood Disorders
Your mental health and development depend on how well you sleep. By sleeping with lights on, you're depriving your brain of the rest needed for processing your emotional and critical thinking capabilities.
Depression has been connected to sleeping with the lights on, affecting mood and brain activity. Blue lights from electronics have the most negative impact because it interferes with how the brain regulates emotions, mood, and sleep.
Immune System Interferences
A robust immune system is often dependent on a good night's sleep. And sleep deprivation might make you more susceptible to not only catching a cold but also major chronic health problems. In fact, some studies have linked sleeping with the lights on to cardiovascular issues.
Lack of sleep results in a health disorder known as Insomnia, which is caused by low levels of Melatonin. It results in a pattern of lack of sleep and sometimes causes migraines. Well, sleeping with the lights on impacts your sleep quality and could cause chronic insomnia.
Increase in Blood Pressure
When melatonin production drops due to excessive light exposure during sleep, your blood pressure could rise because melatonin regulates blood pressure. According to research, people who were exposed to excessive levels of light at night had much greater blood pressure than those who slept in the dark. This could lead to health conditions including a heart attack or stroke.
What Can You Do if You Like Sleeping With Lights On?
The truth is that sleeping with the lights on isn't just a habit that you can shake off in a day. This is especially true if you've been doing so since childhood. Here are some effective tips that will help you make a smooth transition.
- Try lowering your lights gradually in the evening before totally switching them off at bedtime.
- Find a lamp that emits a yellow or red light at night. This color doesn't affect the production of Melatonin.
- Avoid using your phone during the night because it emits blue light that affects melatonin levels.
- Two to four hours before you go to bed, avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Use room darkening curtains or wear eye masks to keep out any artificial sources of light from the outdoors.
- Exercise during the morning and afternoon hours.
- Avoid sleeping during the day and be comfortable every evening.
Get a Healthy Night’s Sleep!
Light is an important aspect of our daily lives, but it needs to be controlled at night. Keep in mind that sleep deprivation is dangerous for your physical and mental health.
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