Did you know that the color of the lightbulbs in your home affect your sleep patterns? Did you know that light in general affects our sleep patterns, which is why many of us begin to feel sleepy as the sun goes down. This biological affect is called the circadian rhythm.
Energy efficient bulbs like fluorescent and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have become popular for their efficiency in both energy use and lighting abilities. But did you know they tend to have a negative affect on your sleep?
These types of bulbs, which generate artificial light, are used in everything from our smartphones to our televisions and are known to interrupt our body’s biological clock or circadian rhythm, which is what regulates not only our sleep patterns, but also our moods, eating patterns, hormone production, brain activity and cell regeneration.
These types of bulbs also produce both artificial and blue light, compounding our sleep pattern problem. A study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that sleeping with a full light on (as opposed to a nightlite) suppresses your melatonin by 85 percent.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, when you are exposed to natural light, sun for example, your retina sends signals to your brain when it is light and when it is dark. When your brain is told it’s beginning to get dark, your body starts to create melatonin, a sleep hormone that prepares us for sleep. When morning arrives and it is light again, your brain senses light and produces cortiosl, a wake-up hormone.
When you are exposed to artificial light, your natural circadian rhythm gets confused because your retina is receiving light at all times of the day. This means your brain is not getting it’s signal to start producing melatonin, your sleep hormone.
How does blue light affect your brain?
The blue light from these bulbs boosts our attention span, reaction times and our moods, making them great for daytime use, but at night, they can keep us awake by suppressing our slumber hormones, reports Harvard Medical.
Blue light has been found to suppress the production of melatonin more than any other type. The reason. The body is more sensitive to blue light and its shorter wavelengths interfere with our production of sleep hormones.
What color light induces sleep?
The best color bulbs to induce sleep are red. Choosing red spectrum-colored bulbs have been shown to induce sleep because it has a low color temperature and does not alter your body’s inner sleep rhythm.
A 14-day study found that people exposed to red light improved their sleep with increased melatonin levels. The study showed that red-light illumination is a positive and noninvasive therapy to prevent sleep disorders.
If you are looking for calming light bulb colors or the best color night light for sleeping, red or even pink, are the best. If you do not have access to red or pink bulbs, The National Sleep Foundation suggests using the red bulbs from Christmas lights, noting that too, will work.