Advertisement

Don’t Let Light Pollution Keep You Up at Night

Don’t Let Light Pollution Keep You Up at Night

Darkness in a bedroom is linked to better sleep and a positive mood. Here’s what you can do to reduce light at night.

Chances are you’ve spent more than one night tossing and turning—up to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. But what can help you sleep better at night is to ensure your bedroom stays dark. Studies confirm that darkness is linked to better sleep quality—and to a happier outlook.

In a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers measured the bedroom light of more than 800 older Japanese. Participants kept sleep diaries and were followed for two years. By the end, people exposed to more than five lux of light (a 100-watt light bulb gives off 60 lux) when trying to sleep were more likely to have depression symptoms than those who slept in total darkness.

Researchers believe that light at night might interfere with your body’s internal clock and the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, throwing off your brain chemistry. So, if you’re having trouble falling and staying asleep, invest in thick curtains or an eye mask to help reduce the light pollution that gets into your bedroom.

Do Early Birds Live Longer Than Night Owls?
Do Early Birds Live Longer Than Night Owls?
Q: I hear people who are night owls aren’t as healthy as morning people. My mom rarely went to sleep before 1AM and died at the age of 65, and I have ...
Read More
What are the side effects of poor sleep?
Joshua C. Klapow, PhDJoshua C. Klapow, PhD
We all know what it feels like to not get a good night's sleep. Poor sleep is a nightly reality ...
More Answers
How can I get a good night's sleep?
Dr. Oluwatoyin Thomas, MDDr. Oluwatoyin Thomas, MD
The first step toward quality sleep is sleep hygiene. What are you doing the first hour or two befor...
More Answers
What Items Do I Need to Help Me Sleep More Soundly?
What Items Do I Need to Help Me Sleep More Soundly?