Friday, March 18, 2011

Sleep with the lights out....and cover those LEDs

I've written before about sleep, pointing to the importance of sleeping in the dark. 

Here is another one to be aware of:

Blue light from light-emitting diodes elicits a dose-dependent suppression of melatonin in humans


Marc said...

I like the advice, but....

Whenever i read about light and sleep...from an evolutionary standpoint, didnt people have a fire going through out the night to keep the animals away? Also, they didn't sleep in a room with black out drapes.

I don't have any electronic devices in my bedroom, but beside from some simple white curtains for privacy, it isn't really all that dark in there. I go to bed n the early side when it's dark outside (9:30-10 pm) and wake up when it gets light. Now with day light savings time, bed time around 10:30 and wake up when it get light around 7.

What are your thoughts Chris?

Hope all is well and have a nice relaxing weekend.


Steven Rice Fitness said...

Marc, that's a great point. Anyone who's slept outdoors when the moon is full knows it darn bright.

Asclepius said...

You'd imagine that sleeping on the open ground would be dangerous without some form of defense...which (from reading 'Catching Fire'), would be provided my a campfire.

Campfires give off reds and yellows as opposed to the moon's white and blue hue.

So perhaps (as usual), it is more complex than we all assume and blue LEDs won't give you too much of a problem if you are also exposed to a red/yellow spectrum?

Anonymous said...

My two cents worth would be that people did not waste resources by maintaining a bright burning fire during the night. That would take a lot of wood over time.

The full moon, while quite bright, is only a part of a cycle of light exposure which I suspect we are adapted to. Living in a rain forest, as opposed to an open savanna, would make the full moon much less of a light source. The situation that science is surfacing would be a constant light exposure that is unnatural.

Anonymous said...

fires would fall into the category of dim light, so melatonin levels wouldn't be suppressed as greatly as a constant 40w/60w bulb or screen.

i've been dealing with sleep for a few years now and a big part of it has been my lack of disciplin and over exposure to artificial indoor light.

i've just started on melatonin supplements and a big part of allowing them to work is staying away from light and targeting a bed time of 10pm.

i've cleared my room of almost all artificial lights. I no longer have a back-lit alarm clock or any computers. I also used to black out my windows completely but having the sun rise and being exposed to that is part of healthy sleep. I was told by my sleep psychologist that graduating light (i.e. dark to light 0 lux to 300 lux) is enough to help hold your body clock in place.