Amazing, but how much sleep you get and how well you sleep is profoundly affected by how much light you have been exposed to during daytime. It means maintaining a day to day natural exposure to daylight, and being in total darkness at night is critical in achieving optimal health and a sound sleep regardless of your diet and exercise. Your quality of sleep has a lot to do with light and darkness.
With the advent of modern living and instant electricity, most people take daylight for granted. Little have they known that sleep patterns are profoundly affected by daylight. Light exposure at the wrong time can interfere with sleep, keep you alert, and prevent you from naturally progressing toward deep slumber. Just in case you haven’t noticed, a good exposure to an early morning sunlight can definitely boost your daytime energy and your ability to fall asleep.
An early morning walk or jog can give you the adequate light exposure you need in the early part of the day to help improve alertness and energy during the day, as well as keep you asleep at night. An exposure to light at the right time of the day can actually help you get the sleep you wanted at night.
The truth is that the humans waking and sleeping lives aren’t separate at all, but are unexpectedly deeply connected with a constant interplay. A night of restless sleep can leave you sluggish and fatigue the next day.
If you sleep on time and soundly throughout the night, you feel refreshed and energized the next day. Just as your sleeping lives affect how you feel when you are awake, so too can the choices you make during your waking day influence your sleep at night!
Your daytime light exposure is how you influence your sleep-wake cycle. This is because light influences the human body’s circadian rhythm. When you remain in a brightly lit environment during bedtime, you just disrupted the timing of circadian signals to the body that it is time for rest.
During the day, a light exposure early in the morning reinforces the body’s natural circadian sleep-wake cycle. One study revealed a group of volunteers camping in the woods who were exposed to natural light only and no artificial light, not even a flashlight, had all their sleep-wake cycles similar to one another, and strikingly got aligned more closely with the solar day and night.
How much you expose yourselves to light in a constantly lit up society can greatly affect your sleep and circadian function. Did I say turn off your TV, mobile phones, bedroom lights, and laptops when you sleep?
Total darkness at night can help your body facilitate skin rejuvenation that might help you reduce the signs of aging easily. Let’s face it – you need sleep to look younger! You look older when you get those dark eyebags from lack of sleep, right?
Get out for an early morning walk in the morning. This is a very simple way to do some fitness routines while soaking yourself up with the sunlight.
Sunlight and darkness trigger the release of important hormones. An exposure to sunlight have been found to increase the brain’s release of serotonin, which is associated with boosting your mood, making you feel calm and more focused.
At nighttime, darker lighting cues trigger the brain to make melatonin, which is a hormone responsible for sleep. In short, to sleep well, you need to get more of that early morning sunlight and well, at night, of course, total darkness matters!
Managing your exposure to light in your home and in your bedroom is fundamental to creating a healthy sleep environment. You can create a bedroom that guards against unwanted light at night, and protects the quality of your sleep until you are ready to awake.
If you need a source of light during the night to make your way comfortably to the bathroom, you can use a red bulb. Red is a long wavelength light shown to be less disruptive to sleep than other light wavelengths.
The body needs to prepare for sleep. A sleep routine that includes a gradually darkening environment can help. You may dim the lights a full hour before bedtime to encourage your body to begin its physiological progression toward sleep.
Taking a little time to ensure a dark sleeping environment is one easy and important way to protect and improve your nightly rest. Make sure window coverings are heavy enough to fully block light, and are well fitted to avoid silvers of streetlight from filtering in. Even a very brief exposure to light can interfere with sleep.
Breus, M. Light early in the day: An important part of your sleep routine.