Categories: Sleep Science

Do LED Lights Affect Our Sleep?

Different light sources are a significant part of our everyday life. Especially during those dark and gloomy winter evenings, when we spend most of our time before bedtime exposed to different lights; for example, the illumination form TVs, computers, different lamps, and even our smartphones. Recently, many researchers and scientists are claiming that our sleep is being affected by this light, which usually comes from light emitting diodes, to the point that many people have reported serious sleep issues. For many of us it might sound a bit silly and unbelievable. After all, how can a light be disrupting our sleep cycles and schedules? But there is a scientific proof that luminescence, especially the variety from LED lights that provide cool white and blue illumination, and that is very commonly used as home lighting, solar security lights, and is even found in our smart devices, can be very harmful to our sleep.

Why Light Affects Our Bodies

Everything that happens in our bodies is controlled by natural rhythms; more specifically something called the circadian rhythm, which means that our bodies are living in harmony with the daily twenty-four-hour cycle. Our internal clocks are regulating accordingly to nature and natural factors, and our behavior, physical and mental changes, and well-being depends very much on it. But, by using artificial light sources, we can trick our bodies into changing their natural cycles and to adapt to an artificial one.

For example, if we switch off all the lights and create darkness in the room during daytime we can trick our bodies into going to sleep. And vice versa – if we leave lights turned on at night we can trick our bodies into staying awake. And it can be done with any lights, warm or cold-toned lights.

Why Are Cold-Toned LED Lights the Most Harmful?

As previously mentioned, the most harmful light is the cold-toned LED light – blue tinged light, which is found in most of our devices as well as in many lamps. It is because our eyes are more sensitive to blue-hued light; therefore, this light has the ability to influence our sleep cycle more than light in other colors. And, if you combine the blue-toned luminosity with the fact that it comes from a LED light source, we get an illumination that is able to control our sleep, since LEDs emit bluer wavelength light than any other type of bulb. So, if we choose bulbs that are blue toned and are LEDs, we can be sure that they will mess with our sleeping cycles and disrupt our sleep.

What Are the Solutions to this Problem?

But there are simple ways that you can combat the influence that the blue LED light will have on the quality of your sleep. Firstly, you can simply avoid bringing this type of lighting in your bedroom, and be cautious of the light sources that you do have in your bedroom. Nowadays, people often use their TVs, smartphones, computers, and tablets right before going to bed. But, by doing so, they end up not getting enough sleep, and feeling tired in the morning, since the blue light from their devices leads to them going to sleep very late, have difficulties falling asleep, or have restless slumber. So, secondly, people should either limit their blue light exposure before bedtime, by not using their devices right before going to sleep. However, if that isn’t possible, they should either invest in special glasses that add a red filter to your vision, and therefore lessen the effect that the screens of your devices have on you, or they should dimply download blue light filter programs or apps for their computers phones and tablets, which will also cancel out some of the blue light your device screens emits. This will cause the usage of your devices to interfere with your sleep much less.

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Amber Merton

Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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