Humans are programmed to rise with the sun and sleep when it sets, but that cycle doesn’t always coincide with our daily schedules. The good news: How we light our homes—especially our bedrooms—can help optimize our sleep cycle.
A good night’s sleep is critical for good health, and lighting can play a role in helping you get the best possible rest. The type of lighting, timing, and color of light can all have significant effects on your body’s internal clock. These expert tips from the American Lighting Association will help you outfit your bedroom for a sleep-inducing setup.
How Lighting Affects Sleep
First, let’s dig into how light—both natural and artificial—can either help regulate or interfere with your sleep schedule. Your body’s cycle of sleeping and waking, called the circadian rhythm, can be disrupted when you soak up too much of the wrong kind of light. During the day, the sun gives off bright blue-white light that makes you feel alert and awake. That’s because this type of light works to suppress melatonin, a hormone in your brain that helps you fall asleep.
As evening falls, your body’s melatonin levels naturally begin to rise, helping you wind down before bedtime. But if the artificial light in your home continues to mimic natural light even after the sun has set, your internal sleep clock can be thrown off track.