Most of us who have adapted to the advancements in technology have likely noticed a drastic change in our sleeping patterns. The quality of our sleep has fallen to critical levels, and the amount of sleep we are getting never seems to be enough. We do not feel fresh anymore, even after getting eight hours of sleep. As a result, we are becoming prone to many dangerous diseases and other discomforts.
There must have been times when your parents had to leave lights on in your bedroom because you were afraid of the dark as a child. Or, there may have been times when you fell asleep while watching the television. Well, there is no shame in accepting this. These incidents contribute to many good and bad memories. But it is essential to note that these incidents have a direct impact on our sleeping pattern as adults.
Have you ever wondered why you aren’t waking up fresh anymore or why you aren’t getting enough sleep? There are many reasons that we are not getting the right quality and quantity of sleep we all deserve. Consumption of coffee or nicotine, bad eating habits, LED lights, etc. are some factors that have reduced our sleeping hours. These factors have also reduced the quality of our sleep.
Out of all these reasons that impact our sleeping habits, LED lights remain a very prominent factor worth considering. LED or light-emitting diodes are part and parcel of our lives now. From our light fixtures to our gadgets with electronic displays like mobile phones, laptops, and tablets amongst others, every one of these gadgets uses LED lights.
The energy efficiency that these lights provide has boosted the presence of LED lights all around us. Before we address the important issue in our hands, let us try to understand what makes LED lights so essential and useful that we find them wherever we look or go.
Why Do LED Lights Surround Us?
If you are wondering what type of efficiency these LED lights provide that they have got us surrounded, here is the answer. We are surrounded by LED lights because they offer us the best lighting without consuming much power. It means that LED lights consume the least amount of energy amongst the other forms of lights providing the same amount of illumination.
This energy efficiency provided by the LED lights is the main reason they are the most popular and efficient form of light. Before we can understand the effect of LED lights on our sleeping pattern, we need to understand how these lights work.
How Do LED Lights Work?
LED lights are available in two primary forms, LED Bulbs and LED Lights. The LED bulbs come in different colors like yellow, green, red, blue, and more. It is worth noting that the different colors combine to make the light white. These various colors of the LED bulbs can be seen in a light color spectrum. This light color spectrum closely resembles the colors in a rainbow.
These LED bulbs which are available in different colors are combined to form white LED lights. Some advanced versions of the LED lights also combine yellow and green colors. Our eyes have different sensitivity toward different colors.
It is hard to look at red and blue lights. It is comparatively a lot easier to look at yellow and green lights. This difference in sensitivity towards different lights is why lights made with red and blue combined seem a bit dull compared to the lights made of yellow and green.
What Determines Our Sleeping Pattern?
Our body secretes many hormones that impact it and cause various changes. Melatonin is one such hormone that’s responsible for how much sleep we get. It is a very powerful hormone that makes us fall asleep. Less excretion of melatonin means that we will get less sleep.
Light impacts the production of melatonin in our body. When we wake up in the morning, we see light all around us. If we don’t get sunlight in the morning, we turn on the lights in the room. This exposure to light reduces the amount of melatonin that our body excretes, and we feel awake.
While we progress toward the evening when the natural light in the surroundings reduces, our body gets stimulated. Once our body gets the stimulus, it starts secreting melatonin. This melatonin starts preparing us for sleep. So, you can assume that the amount of sleep we get is directly proportional to the amount of light to which we expose ourselves.
Our body is internally programmed according to our stimulus. This system of sleeping and waking up is known as Circadian rhythm, scientifically. When we expose ourselves to unnatural forms of light, our brain feels perplexed, and our sleep cycle gets disrupted.
After we have understood the role of melatonin in our sleeping pattern, the next big question is, “Do LED Lights in Bedrooms Affect your Sleeping Patterns?” Since LED lights are a source of light and can closely resemble the natural light provided by the sun, our brain gets tricked into believing that it is day time. So, the answer to this question is, yes, the LED lights in bedrooms affect your sleeping pattern.
How Does a LED Light Impact Our Sleeping Pattern?
The amount of exposure that we get to light impacts our sleeping cycle. After understanding this, it is logical to think that keeping the lights on in the night have a direct impact on us.
In addition to this exposure to light, the color of light that we are exposed to influences our sleeping pattern as well. Different colors impact our sleep differently. Some colors are easy on the eye, while others are difficult to look at. Warmer shades of yellow make us feel relaxed, while bright white light will make us feel active.
Impact of Blue Light on Our Sleeping Pattern
Blue light is one of the famous colors in LED bulbs, which is quite dim and soft to your eyes. The color blue from the color spectrum closely resembles the daytime. This makes our brain think that it is day outside. Blue color influences our brain, and our hormones do not excrete enough melatonin. Because we don’t get sufficient melatonin, we are unable to get the required amount of sleep.
Electronic devices like mobile phones, laptops, desktop, etc., emit blue light. When we stay awake for a long time and use these gadgets, then it keeps us awake. It is hard to sleep even if you try. Therefore, it is advisable to get rid of these gadgets before going to sleep and just after waking up.
Do All Colored Lights Impact Our Sleeping Patterns Negatively?
There are different colors in the light spectrum but not every color has a negative impact on our sleep. We need to avoid blue light before going to sleep. You can improve and enhance your sleeping pattern by using soft lights. We should use red lights that relax and sooth our mind.
These colors do not reduce the amount of melatonin excretion in our bodies. These red and orange color lights help kids who are afraid of the dark. Such lights help them sleep without any fear even in a dark room.
Habits for More and Better Quality of Sleep
If you are struggling to get the required amount of sleep, follow some of the listed habits that you must adopt. It is essential to have the correct light color in your room. It will help in achieving your goals and getting yourself a sound sleep.
Fixed Sleeping Pattern
Adoption of a set sleeping pattern is the solution to your problems. If you sleep at odd and different hours, you are more likely to struggle for your required quota of sleep. Fix a time when you will go to sleep and wake up. This habit might be hard to adopt at first, after spending years in a sleeping frenzy, but it is the right way to get enough sleep.
Sleep with Lights Off
It is important to keep your lights off when you are going to sleep. If you are afraid of the dark, then your room must have soft lights, so that you can fall asleep quickly. Make sure that you don’t have any artificial or bright lighting in the room. This darkness in your room will impact the quality of sleep. Many professional athletes and sports professionals use special darkening curtains to get enough sleep.
Use an Eye Mask for Healthier Sleep
LED lights surround you through many gadgets. The excess use of gadgets makes it difficult to achieve absolute darkness in the room. In such scenarios, you should develop a habit of using eye masks. There are many gadgets that surround us and it is hard to stop using them. Shutting them all off might not be a solution every time. In such cases, you can use eye masks to get healthy sleep.
Avoid Nicotine and Caffeine During Evenings and Night
Nicotine and caffeine are the best stimulants that let you stay awake all night. It is essential that you avoid consuming nicotine and caffeine at the time of going to sleep. If you avoid such ingredients during the night, then you can fall asleep on time.
Lower the Brightness of Light in the Room Before You Go to Sleep
You should try to dim the light sometime before you are planning to go to sleep. Lowering the brightness will help your brain to prepare your body for sleep by excreting the required amount of melatonin.
Avoid Gadgets Before You are Planning to Sleep
Using devices like mobile phones and computers right before you want to go to sleep is the main reason why you cannot fall asleep on time. The LED lights used in the gadgets emit blue light, which keeps your brain awake. So, you must avoid any type of device before going to sleep during night to get healthier sleep.
Adopt Mind-calming Hobbies
Picking up hobbies like reading, art, jogging, etc. is an excellent way to calm and relax your brain. These hobbies help in reducing the activity level of your brain. Once your brain gets calm, it is easier to fall asleep.
Get Optimum Lighting in the Room
The trick to the optimum lighting in your place lies in understanding the nature of LED lights used in the room. It is essential to realize that not all LED lights are bad for our sleeping patterns. There are some specific shades of LED lights like blue, which we need to avoid if we wish to get the proper amount and quality of sleep. But this doesn’t mean that we cannot use dim lights at all.
Getting proper sleep is essential from all standpoints. It is vital for physical fitness, mental and social well-being, and, most importantly, for our sanity. Once you have understood which light has what sort of impact on you, you can figure out the lights that you should use in your living space.