How Darkness Affects Sleep

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Sleeping Who doesn’t like sleep? A good, restful sleep provides one of the most rewarding sensations one can ever get. This sets the stage for numerous efforts meant to induce a restful slumber. Often, however, these ‘techniques’ can become too convoluted. Experts believe that the only truly effective attempt at promoting better sleep is by keeping a room as dark as possible.

Darkness And Sleep: The Connection

For those whose homes are still in construction/renovation, call a company such as Vidaspace and install dark-coloured stone cladding panels. Or perhaps visit a local home supplies store and buy dark-coloured paints and wallpaper. Hanging a good amount of window treatments to keep the sun out can also work. What matters most is that the room is ideally kept dark to induce sleep, as per body chemistry.

Not a lot of people are aware that darkness and sleep go hand in hand. Keep in mind that sleeping is heavily dependent on the production of the hormone melatonin. A powerful antioxidant, melatonin directly affects the body’s circadian rhythm (aka the sleepiness-wakefulness cycle). The body must produce a good amount of melatonin, which is biologically programmed to occur at night. Low melatonin levels result in wakefulness. And to ‘instruct’ the brain to fall asleep, the conditions must feature as little light as possible.

Keeping It Dark

What this means is that before and during bedtime, any unwarranted source of light or brightness has to go. But it’s something that a lot of people find difficulty in doing. According to the National Sleep Foundation in the U.S., a massive 95 percent of people use a light-emitting device before bed. The problem with these devices is that most of them emit blue light, which can greatly upset the internal clock.

Another reason to darken the bedroom is the fact that dark hues absorb light. A simple experiment should prove this. Try going into a small dark room and shut the door and windows to keep all the light out. Take a flashlight, turn it on then shine it onto a light-coloured surface. One may notice that light reflects off of the surface, further illuminating the space around it. But shine the light onto a dark-coloured surface and there’s not much illumination going on.

As it turns out, getting a good night’s sleep involves simply working with the body’s natural rhythm.

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