Overview – What You Need To Know About LED Lighting And Sleep
Sleep is a very vital component of every person’s health and wellbeing. After a long work shift, sleep helps your body repair and get ready for the next work shift. If you are used to sleeping and waking up at a particular time, your body naturally synchronizes to this alignment. Recent studies have, however, shown that exposure to artificial light may affect this wake-sleep alignment. This article will help you understand how artificial lighting affects your sleep-wake rhythms and how you can choose the best LED to achieve optimal sleep.
How is artificial lighting related to sleep?
Biologically, light is a body and mind stimulant. This means that exposure to different colors can determine how your body perceives sleep and alertness. Today, the cases of insomnia, sleep-related depression are sadly rising. The use of digital devices such as computers and smartphones emitting light is also increasing. In this regard, it is essential to understand how different light colors on the spectrum affect the body’s sleeping cycle.
Light exposure at the wrong time of the day affects the body’s circadian rhythm and thus causes a delay in natural processes such as muscle relaxation, a drop in body temperature and feeling drowsy. The release of the hormone that controls all these sleep-related processes, melatonin, is also compromised by light pollution.
With prolonged exposure to light pollution, it becomes challenging for the body to attain deep and restful sleep. Considering that it is only during deep sleep that your body and brain repairs and the muscles relax, wrong exposure to light can determine how active and energized you will be when you wake up. Since lack of sleep causes other problems, including depression, obesity and increased risk of causing car accidents, it is imperative to control the color of light you are exposed to before you sleep.
How LED colors affect sleep-alertness rhythms
LED lighting is today very popular in modern homes. LED light may come from bulbs or personal devices now everyday human companions. Surprisingly, even within the light spectrum, there are various degrees of effect on how the body responds to sleep. Here are 5 LED colors and the effect they have on sleep:
1. Bright Blue light- This kind of light is stimulating rather than restful. It affects the circadian rhythm greatly and hence significantly affects your natural sleep cycle. This kind of light comes from fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and electronic devices such as TVs, computer monitors and mobile phones. For a better night sleep, you should minimize the blue light produced by your devices.
2. Red light- Sleeping in red light improves the quality of sleep. This is because it has a lower effect on melatonin levels responsible for controlling sleep. You can install red LEDs then dim them for a deep and restful sleep after a long day.
3. Bright white and yellow light- Any bright light will be detrimental to your circadian rhythm, a reason why bright white and yellow light are better for staying alert and awake. Remember that this is the kind of light you are exposed to during the day and you would not want to extend it to the night or when you are supposed to sleep.
4. Green light- Although not as detrimental as blue, green also reduces the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Even though green suppresses melatonin release for a relatively shorter time than green, it is not the go for LED for deep and restful sleep.
5. Violet and purple light- Violet and purple are even worse than blue. They suppress melatonin release and the circadian rhythm the most and significantly affect your sleep quality.
With this said, we can draw out the following summary:
• Bright blue, yellow, white, violet and purple light should be avoided at all costs when you want to achieve deep and restful sleep. These LEDs are great in the morning when you want to freshen up.
• Dimmed red light is excellent if you want highly relaxing and restful sleep. This light may extend your sleep if used in the morning.
• A mix of colors will do more harm than good to your sleep-wake rhythms.
If you are interested in learning more about lighting, check out our links below to our blog, smart lighting and products that you can help you with sleep and being productive throughout the day!
Hopefully, you now understand why you should not turn on any colored light before and after going to sleep. Remember that if you are exposed to prolonged light pollution, your sleeping lifestyle will be severely affected and thus, you will be more prone to long term health problems. Understanding that red light is suitable for a more relaxed sleep and that bright violet is excellent for alertness should help you decide what LED lighting to install and access at any given time.