Are you having trouble getting a full night’s rest, even after turning off all the electronics and snuggling in bed? Are you waking up feeling groggy and unrested? You might have overlooked one key factor – the amount of light in your bedroom.
This is a common problem for many people, especially if you live in an area where street lights or other sources of light find their way into your room. But is a dark room better for sleeping? In this article, we’ll explain why dark rooms are beneficial for sleep, and how to make sure yours is as dark as possible. We’ll also offer some tips on how to adjust to sleeping in the dark since not everyone is used to it.
Common Perceptions of Dark Rooms and Sleep
You may have heard that sleeping in a dark room is better for you. And the idea certainly makes sense. Darkness tricks your body into thinking it’s night time, so it does the preparatory things it needs to do to make sure you’re well-rested and ready to take on the day tomorrow.
But why is a dark room so important for waking up refreshed? It’s all about controlling your exposure to light. Exposure to light sends signals to your brain that can disrupt melatonin production—your body’s natural hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy and helping regulate your sleep cycle.
Studies suggest that having some lights on in the bedroom (for example, dimmed nightlights) can throw off your natural rhythms, even when they don’t wake you up. And while an illuminated room could be comforting enough to trick you into sleeping despite the lack of darkness—it’s not helpful by any means if you want quality rest!
Pros and Cons of Sleeping in a Dark Room
Alright, so you’re asking yourself: Is a dark room better for sleeping? As with any decision, this one also has its pros and cons.
Let’s kick things off with the positives:
Pros of Sleeping in a Dark Room
- Darkness facilitates your body’s production of melatonin, which helps you to fall asleep quicker and sleep better. It’s like your own natural sleeping pill!
- A darker bedroom can be very calming and relaxing after a long day, allowing you to let go of stress and unwind before bedtime.
- Your bedroom is your personal space where you get some much-needed sleep — free from distractions like streetlights and TV light in the background.
Now let’s take a look at the cons that come with sleeping in a dark room:
Cons of Sleeping in a Dark Room
- The absence of light can sometimes make it harder for people to wake up, as your body doesn’t perceive any changes in brightness that generally help to wake people up.
- If you are afraid of the dark or suffer from anxiety, then it might be difficult to stay in complete darkness while trying to drift off. And finally,
- Darkness may also lead to nightmares or night terrors if someone is prone to them.
How Much Darkness Is Enough?
Deciding how much darkness is enough for sleeping can be tricky. After all, it’s kind of subjective. But if you’re looking to maximize your sleep quality and reduce potential health risks associated with light exposure while asleep, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, you should aim for no more than 10 lux of light in your bedroom. This isn’t too dark—you’ll still be able to find your way around the room in the dark—but it’s just enough for you to be able to relax and drift off into sleep without any disruptions from light.
You should also keep any electronics that emit visible or even invisible light out of your bedroom. That means no television, phone or computer! Instead, opt for an alarm clock that doesn’t have an illuminated display or a reading lamp that can be switched off when not needed.
Finally, blackout curtains are a great option for anyone who lives in a bright city or who has trouble getting enough sleep because of street lights outside the window. They help keep out the majority of the light so you won’t be disturbed by early morning sunlight or street lamps during the night.
So, how much darkness is enough? The answer is not too little and not too much; 10 lux is the perfect amount of darkness to get a good night’s sleep!
Tips for Creating a Better Sleep Environment
Do you want to create a sleep environment that’s conducive to a good night’s sleep? There are lots of practical things you can do to make a dark room that optimizes your slumber. Here are some tips for creating a sleep haven:
Window shades and curtains
The trick here is to make sure the darkness is complete. Invest in thick, opaque curtains and blinds—this will help to block out any outdoor lights and distractions.
A stuffy room makes it hard to fall asleep. Make sure that you have adequate airflow circulating around the room so you don’t wake up feeling stuffy or too warm. You might also consider using fans, air conditioners, or humidifiers/dehumidifiers, depending on the time of year.
Try white noise machines: they can be great for masking any distracting noises pollution that might come through the window or be caused by other sources in your home (such as pipes). This helps create an environment of stillness that can facilitate relaxation during your night-time ritual.
Electronics and lighting
It’s no secret that screens emit blue light which can interfere with melatonin production and make it hard for you to get into deep sleep mode. So dim down the lights in your bedroom as much as possible, avoid screens for at least two hours before going to bed, and also try to eliminate any electronic devices (such as phones or smart speakers).
How to Adapt to Bright Light During the Daytime
The reality is, bright light during the day time can have a really negative effect on your sleep patterns. Many people have difficulty getting used to bright sunlight. So it’s important to know what to do when this happens. Here are some tips for adapting to bright light during the day:
Get Light Filtering Curtains
Installing some light filtering curtains will help block out incoming sunlight and provide a dark environment. This will help your body’s natural circadian rhythm stay in sync and make it easier to wind down at night.
Wear Sunglasses Outdoors
Wearing sunglasses outdoors can not only help reduce glare, but also protect your eyes from UV rays while you’re out and about. Sunglasses can even make adapting to bright light easier and prevent squinting and headaches associated with this transition.
Reduce Screen Time During the Daytime
Reducing exposure to devices like phones, computers, and tablets during the day will help your eyes adjust better when night falls. This will reduce the intensity of blue light during the daylight hours so that it doesn’t interfere with sleep patterns at night.
By following these steps you can easily adapt to bright light during the day while still getting a good night’s rest. The key is to plan ahead and make sure your environment is optimized for sleeping in a dark room come nighttime!
All in all, it’s important to keep it dark in your bedroom for good quality sleep. Whether that’s turning the lights off, covering the windows with blinds or curtains, or wearing an eye mask to block out light. Darkening your room can help you fall asleep faster and maintain deeper, longer sleep cycles.
If you’re trying to get into better habits for good sleep, darkening your room should absolutely be a priority. It may not seem like much, but it can make a huge difference in your quality of sleep. So give yourself the best chance to rest and recharge with a dark bedroom and you’ll thank yourself in the morning!