Avoid bright light in the evenings and sleep in full darkness at night

14 11 2017

The secretion of melatonin hormone (sleep hormone) is disturbed if the evenings in bright light.

I would recommend avoiding these

  • Powerful blue wavelengths such as blue leds, including white light, eg light therapy device for about two hours before bedtime. This two hour time is very personal.
  • Watching your computer screen, mobile phone or iPad for about two hours before bedtime.
  • Playing computer games for about two hours before bedtime
  • Watching TV for about two hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid RGB LEDs (red-green-blue) in the evening or remove blue light of it.
  • Children should not have lighted night toys in bed. An astonishingly small amount of light (1.3 lumen) is enough to interfere with the secretion of melatonin hormone.
  • If you see the street lighting from the windows, get black, light-impermeable blinds.

If you usually are reading late in the evenings, consider whether it is necessary.

Try to sleep 9 or at least 8 hours in the night. If the room is not dark, use black eye shields which are available for example for long flights.

In your phone is may be available the color temperature control: Settings – Display – Comfort for eyes: turn on this, start at 19.00 or 2 hours before going to bed, ending at 7.00 the next morning or when you usually wake up.

Color temperature, as warm as possible (adjusting is generally not possible when the comfort of the eyes is in use).

Install f.lux (free) on your phone and laptop, justgetflux.com  Adjust its settings to fit. See also sleeping instructions on f.lux Facebook.

There may be too much blue in the f.lux light so that the most sensitive cannot sleep. In this case try blue light blocking glasses. Google Uxex Skyper amazon. Use them also, when you are working in the evening with computer or when you are looking at TV. These glasses remove 98 % of the blue light.

Use these glasses two hours before going to bed. You may fall asleep faster. They are excellent even before the night flight if you want to sleep on an airplane.

The small blue or green signal lights of electronic equipments in bedroom may cause problems of falling asleep.  If necessary, you can tape the LED lights with air-conditioning tapes or even better, completely remove the equipment from the bedroom.

Illumine the night-time route to the toilet or refrigerator with dim, light-emitting red-colored led candles or lights so you can find it right way. Do not light the normal lights at night. The toilet light at night should not be white, it will reduce the secretion of melatonin and may wake you up. Light in the toilet should also be dimmed red. You do not have to see your face at night. If there is light in the toilet from the windows, stop it with black blinds.

If you wake up at night, do not light the reading lamp to read. Even a 5-10 minute stay at night in the light will stop the melatonin hormone secretion and will awaken you.

In the morning

Powerful, blue or white light is excellent to awaken and end the secretion of melatonin. Light up the kitchen and WC with powerful, white light in the morning. Watch the morning TV in as bright a light as possible. Daylight-type light (5500 K) is the best. If the sun is shining, take a walk outside.

It is advisable to extend the light therapy time for the elderly in the morning because their eyes penetrate less light than the eyes of the young.

In sleep problems you can also turn to doctors who are familiar with sleep disorders and winter depression.

By following these advice, you will also stay healthier and you will avoid risk getting breast cancer, for example.

Ilkka Pekanheimo, lighting designer, Finland

ilkka.pekanheimo@gmail.com   fullspectrumlight.wordpress.com

 

Article 26.11.2017:

How to light the Finnish Flag, when Finland celebrates 100 years

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