How the lights in your home are stealing your sleep - and some quick fixes that can help. Don't believe us? Just try it: we dare you. Tweet us @kalasleep and let us know how it goes.
Are the lights in your home making it hard for you to sleep? The answer is probably yes. Good news, though - the answer could be as simple as switching out the bulbs in your bedroom.
What's happening here is actually pretty simple. Blue light, which is a component of sunlight as well as "bright white," "cool white," "daylight," and other "cool" colored light bulbs, is the stuff that makes your brain think it's daytime. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs or CFBs for short) and LED bulbs are energy-efficient and long-lasting, but they tend to have a lot of blue light - so keep them out of your bedroom, den, bathroom, or wherever you spend a lot of time in the evening.
Blue light, which is a component of sunlight as well as "bright white," "cool white," "daylight," and other "cool" colored light bulbs, is the stuff that makes your brain think it's daytime.
Light is one of the main factors that tell your body what time it is, part of the cycles in your body called circadian rhythms. The lights in your home aren't the same as daylight, but they can still affect your body's biological clock.
With that in mind, here's a general guide for good sleep:
- In rooms where you'll be spending time at night, use bulbs with softer, "warmer" light.
- Avoid bulbs with descriptions like "bright white," "cool white," or "daylight" for your evening areas - these have higher quantities of blue light, which can keep you awake (these descriptions are usually on the package). These lights are great for your kitchen, home office, and other work areas, though.
- If you have CFLs, LEDs, or other bulbs that emit bright white or cool white light, turn them off or leave that room about 2 hours before bed.
- If you can't turn off your white lights, try to stay at least 5 feet away from them - this lessens their effects.
- If you have nightlights, reading lights, or other small lamps in your bedroom/bathroom, try installing red or even pink bulbs. Red light is the least disruptive to sleep.
Try it and see. Tweet us @kalasleep if you notice a difference!