Fast talk: lights on or lights off in your bedroom?
You’re good to go if you say you’re going to sleep with the lights turned off. Meanwhile, if you choose the first choice, perhaps this article can do something to change your mind.
We all have our own comfortable sleeping habits, such as sleeping while hugging your childhood pillow, wrapping a blanket around your entire body, listening to music to fall asleep, and turning on or off the lights in your bedroom. Whatever suits your comfort is fine, because it’s hard to sleep when there’s something in your room that gives you discomfort.
I don’t mean to scare those who are afraid of sleeping in the dark, but a study shows that sleeping with the lights on will cause cardiometabolic diseases.
A recent study led by Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says that ambient nighttime light exposure is implicated as a risk factor for adverse health outcomes.
However, the effects of light exposure at night while asleep on cardiometabolic outcomes and the related mechanisms are unclear.
Dr. Zee pioneered the study with a total of 20 young adults to participate in this parallel-group study design. In the study titled “Light Exposure During Sleep Impairs Cardiometabolic Function,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 14, it was found that heart rate was higher and heart rate variability lower during sleep in the room light versus the dim light condition.
Also, the higher sympathovagal balance during sleep was associated with a higher 30-min insulin AUC, consistent with increased insulin resistance the following morning. Results demonstrate that a single night of exposure to room light during sleep can impair glucose homeostasis, potentially via increased SNS activation.
Dr. Zee also told everyone to refrain from exposure to light at night during sleep to avoid any health risks.
She also added that you should check your bedroom for sources of light that are not deemed necessary. At night, keep the light dim at floor level so that it is more reflected rather than right next to your eyes or bed level. She emphasized choosing lights that have more reddish or brownish tones.
Be cautious of the type of light you’re using in your bedroom. Ban those lights in the blue spectrum, such as those emitted by electronic devices like televisions, tables, smart phones, and laptops.