What happens if you sleep with lights on

By June 3, 2022

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Sleeping with lights on seems to be beneficial, no matter when you doze off beside a laptop or your kid sleeps with the bedlamp on just because he or she is afraid of the dark. However, this habit can interfere with your sleep in the long run.

Disrupt hormonal balance

Melatonin is an important hormone that can regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and a series of other bodily functions like reproduction and blood pressure regulation. Generally, melatonin keeps pace with natural light, as it shrinks during the day while rising in the evening. That is why you’ll feel sleepy at night. However, with the light on when you sleep, your circadian rhythm will be disrupted, and less melatonin will keep you alerted.

A man with insomnia looks at the clock at dawn from the bed with concern. Lifestyle concept

Cause poor sleep quality

According to the research, people who are exposed to light tend to have at least 10 minutes less sleep each night. They may find themselves frequently waking up in the middle of the night and feeling sleepy and having headaches during the day. Over time, the issues can also develop into serious ones such as insomnia.

Increase the possibility of depression

Poor sleep quality may eventually lead to a change in your mental state. If you don’t sleep well for a long time, you’re more likely to feel bad emotionally and even end up with depression.

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How to go without lights for sleep

It’s hard to get rid of it if you are used to sleeping with lights on, but you can go without lights gradually. For example, lower the lights step by step until you can sleep without lights totally. Or start by using a dim red light in your bedroom, which has the least influence on your sleep quality.

If you can only sleep with lights on, like living by the street with bright lights day and night, using blackout drapes will help a lot. Besides, you can also use a close-fitting eye mask to block out unwanted light as much as possible.

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The light released by your electronics can also prevent you from falling asleep. Make your screen time at least one hour before sleep, or just put your phones in another room.

In some cases, you can set a timer for the lights so that you can fall asleep with lights on while ensuring a good sleep in darkness in the meantime.

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