Episode 4

screens sleep hygiene Sep 01, 2020

The Dark Side of Light: How Evening Light can Ruin Your Night

Could the key to falling asleep fast, getting a great night of sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed and energized be as easy as flicking a switch?

When you are exposed to light in the evening hours approaching your desired bed time, the light actively shifts your body’s “scheduled” sleep time, delaying your ability to settle down and sleep

Multiple studies show that light exposure in the evenings is independently associated with longer time to fall asleep, after accounting for age, gender, daytime activity, bed time, daylight length, and intensity of evening/night light exposure

Light from screens specifically has been shown to worsen the ability to wake in the morning (known as sleep inertia), lengthen the time it takes to fall asleep, decrease the likelihood of waking up by an alarm, worsen daytime function, decrease sleep quality, worsen daytime fatigue, and increased social jet lag

If you better regulate your overall light exposure (follow the sun in the evenings, and think about campfire-level light at night), you’ll be much better positioned to fall asleep faster, achieve higher quality sleep, and stay asleep longer all night


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