Lights Out: Why You Should Sleep in Total Darkness

Did you know that sleeping in total darkness has numerous health benefits? Researchers say that having a nightlight or any other light source in your bedroom disrupts your sleep and wreaks havoc on your health. Below are 5 benefits of sleeping in total darkness that’ll leave you counting sheep.

1. Improved Melatonin Levels

When the day comes to an end and it starts to get dark, your body produces a hormone called melatonin. This hormone makes you feel sleepy and signals to your body that it’s time for sleep. Because you’ll be sleeping in a dark room, your body will produce more melatonin levels and you’ll have an easier time drifting off.

2. Healthier Circadian Rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that tells your body when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake. When you go to bed and there’s a light source, this can throw off your circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin levels. Sleeping in total darkness helps keep your circadian rhythm in sync with the day-night cycle.

3. Deeper and More Restful Sleep

Having improved melatonin levels and a healthy circadian rhythm set the stage for deeper, more quality rest. You’ll also be less likely to be disturbed by any lights in your room, leading to uninterrupted sleep.

4. Gives Your Eyes a Break from Light

You might be surprised to learn that your eyelids don’t completely block out light. Sleeping with a nightlight or a TV on not only hampers your sleep quality but can also cause eye strain.

How to Sleep in Total Darkness

When you go to bed, make sure to turn off all the lights in your hallway. You want your bedroom to be as dark as possible. Here are some more tips for minimizing light in your bedroom.

  • Wear an eye mask
  • Use blackout curtains
  • Cover lights emitted from electronics with tape

What If I Have to Get Up in the Middle of the Night?

It’s okay to use a nightlight if you have to get up in the middle of the night. Try getting a nightlight with orange or red shades, as these colors won’t disrupt your circadian rhythm as much.

Ditch the Nightlight for Better Sleep

It might sound scary at first, especially if you’re scared of the dark. But the health benefits are all worth it. You’ll have an easier time falling asleep and you’ll wake up more refreshed.

Looking for more ways to improve your sleep? Check out, “Sound Slumber: 6 Sleep Devices to Try.”

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