Have you been experiencing trouble sleeping lately? While this can emanate from a wide range of possible causes, there’s a big chance that how your bedroom is lit is to blame.
You could be using the wrong light bulbs as far as the brightness, temperature, and color are concerned, or you simply forget to switch off some of your lights early enough before bedtime.
But really, could your lightbulbs be the true cause of your insomnia? And if so, what can you do about it?
Read on to learn about the different types of lights and how they can keep you up at night.
Lighting Can Indeed Cause Insomnia
Let’s start with the not-so-good news. Indeed, light can disrupt your circadian rhythms, which in turn can cause insomnia and other sleep disorders. This is in fact why you may already know that it’s easier to fall asleep when it’s dark.
According to a piece on Sleep Foundation about light and sleep, darkness stimulates the brain’s pineal gland to produce the sleep hormone – melatonin in response to darkness.
Further research has also shown that in addition to the circadian rhythms and melatonin secretion, the kind and amount of light you are exposed to can as well have an impact on your mood, which can also affect your ability to fall and stay asleep at night!
But still, could the choice of your light bulbs be giving you insomnia?
The Different Types of Light Bulbs
There are a lot of options when it comes to lighting. Of course, some are best suited for certain purposes or use in certain rooms. And as far as lightbulbs for the sleep environment are concerned, there are also various choices to pick from.
These include the following:
LEDs are the most efficient bulbs, using the least amount of energy. They are also able to produce a variety of colors that you can choose from depending on which one best calms you to sleep in the case of the bedroom.
There are also various types to choose from by design, brand, and purpose. When it comes to bedroom lighting, the A21 LED bulb, which can also be used during the day, is even said to help improve the circadian rhythm, boost mood, and promote a good slumber by boosting melatonin production.
Fluorescent bulbs are often less expensive than LEDs and incandescent bulbs. The downside is that they can cause eye strain if used for long periods of time, which could in turn affect your sleep.
Incandescent bulbs emit the warmest light but use the most energy—a possible tradeoff if you want something that works well with dimmer switches or candles (for example).
Halogen lamps shine brightly compared to other types of bulb styles. However, they’re also one of the most costly options available on the market today due to their high energy consumption.
They also contain rare earth elements like europium, which need to be mined from underground rock formations in rare places.
Lightbulbs and Color Temperatures
Color temperature is measured in kelvins, a measure of the hue and brightness of the light. It often has nothing to do with how much energy a bulb uses or how hot it gets. Instead, color temperature describes how “warm” or “cool” a bulb feels when you look at it.
The lower the number of kelvins, the warmer (or redder) your light will appear. Higher numbers tend to be bluer and colder-looking. You’ve likely noticed these differences as you flip from room to room in your house: one lamp might feel warm while another has a decidedly cool tone.
The Ideal Light for Sleeping: Warm and Orange!
Many people don’t realize that certain colors can actually help or hinder their ability to fall asleep. Many sources indicate that the ideal type of light for sleeping is red or warm and orange, which looks like the glow of an incandescent bulb or candlelight.
This type of lighting mimics natural sunlight and helps induce sleep by lowering our body temperature through increased melatonin production (a hormone that regulates our sleep cycles).
On the other hand, blue light has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns because it suppresses melatonin production while simultaneously suppressing circadian rhythm (the internal clock that governs when we feel sleepy).
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, red lights are actually better suited for reading than blue ones. And although they may cause eye strain if you read too long under them, they do not suppress melatonin production at all!
Cool vs Warm Light:
Cool light bulbs can trick your body into thinking it’s daytime and prevent your brain from slowing down enough for restful slumber. On the other hand, warm light bulbs can help trick your body into thinking it’s nighttime so that you get ready for bed earlier on those days when you need to clock in early the next morning!
If you’re looking to get a good night’s rest, you may want to consider replacing your cool white lights with something that emits red or orange tones. Because they mimic the sunset, using the latter in the bedroom can help you fall asleep earlier and get into deep sleep faster and longer.
Turn Off the Lights (or Dim Them) Before Bedtime!
If you’re like most people, you are more likely to sleep faster and better with the lights completely off. Using dimmer switches has many benefits, including helping you create more of a relaxing atmosphere in the room. Dimmers also help save energy costs and may even extend the life of your bulbs.
In the bedroom, they help in lowering the brightness when you want to wind down and get ready for slumber without turning off the lights completely.
Insomnia can be a life-altering sleep disorder. If you’re looking for a better night’s sleep, try switching out the lightbulbs in your home. You may be surprised just how much of an impact it can make.
And in case you always do so but you spend some time in the bedroom with the lights on before slumber, the problem could be the kind of bulbs installed there, their brightness, and their colors.
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