Lights out! Keep your bedroom dark for better health.
It’s a high-tech, hyper-connected world out there. Whether you’re a constant Tweeter, a proud Luddite, or something in between, it’s important to remember that your body’s basic needs are decidedly low-tech. Case in point: Preliminary research shows that nighttime light exposure, known to affect sleep rhythms, may also affect your risk of insulin resistance, a condition that can precede diabetes. In a small study, researchers had one group of young adults sleep in darkness, while others slept with an overhead light on. Those who slept with a light on for a single night had higher insulin levels the next day. More research is needed to determine how chronic light exposure at night may affect insulin levels. But there’s evidence that the blue light from cell phones, tablets, and laptops can disrupt circadian rhythm and sleep, and some research links light exposure at night to an increased risk of cancer, obesity, learning issues, and depression. If you tend to burn the midnight oil, use social media or TV as a lullaby, or simply fall asleep with the lights on, come on over to the dark side. Give your brain the darkness and downtime it needs by dimming the lights or using only red wavelength light between 7 PM and 7 AM. You can also facilitate your sleep by powering down your devices at least an hour before you turn in and turning off the lights both in and outside your room at bedtime. If a streetlight’s glow spills into your bedroom, invest in a comfortable sleep mask or light-blocking shades. Supporting your body’s natural rhythms means not only being unafraid of the dark, but embracing it.
Source: Impact of Light Exposure during Sleep on Cardiometabolic Function
8 days 21 hours 23 min ago