How light affects insomnia

We are witnessing an increase in cases of insomnia. The causes of sleep disorders multiply in the technological age and there are more and more factors that we must take into account to protect ourselves from insomnia and sleep well. It is true that we must be attentive to all the details, including the light that we expose ourselves to a few hours before bedtime, because light favors insomnia.

Light, melatonin and sleep

  • The relationship between light and insomnia involves understanding the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle, melatonin. To sleep we need melatonin to be produced and this substance increases as it gets dark. Melatonin, or rather the lack of it, is one of the consequences that night workers have more problems with insomnia.
  • Going to bed in broad daylight is not something that favors rest because our body does not consider it natural and because we are altering the function of melatonin that determines the sleep and wake cycles depending on the amount of light. Sleep specialists insist on the need to sleep in the dark, to avoid sunlight to get a restful sleep, as well as to regulate sleep.
  • But not only sunlight affects insomnia, so doe’s electric light. It is a detail that few people take into account, but the ideal is that a few hours before going to sleep we reduce the intensity of the light so that our body prepares to sleep.

Electric light and insomnia

  • The fact that electric light negatively affects the quality of sleep is something that we should also take into account in the cases of the sleep of babies and children. There are children who are afraid of the dark and cannot sleep with the light off. In these cases, the parents see no alternative but to leave the light on, without stopping to think about how this might affect their sleep. If a child is afraid of the dark, you have to treat that fear, not leave the light on to sleep.
  • Many people fall asleep with the light on. That leaves them calm thinking that they do not suffer from an insomnia problem, but even if they manage to fall asleep with the light, the quality of sleep will not be the same as if they do it in the dark. And even though they’ve slept through the night, they wake up tired and not having gotten the benefits of sleep.
  • Living in this technological age causes more problems with insomnia. Like the electric light, the television screen, the computer turned on or the flickering of mobile phones on the bedside table are some of the enemies of sleep that are most difficult to avoid.

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