Staying awake to page through a good book doesn’t need to keep your partner up. Choosing the right nightstand lamp is a bright idea for two reasons: Not only will it ensure that your significant other gets a good night’s sleep, but it can also improve the quality of your own shuteye. That’s because any glowing light—whether it comes from your lamp or a phone—prevents the release of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. But if you use the following advice on picking the perfect light (and light bulbs) for your bedroom, you can reduce the problem—and still dive into a great read!
Skip the overhead light or lamp and use a small book light, which clips onto the novel that you’re reading and aims a concentrated stream of light onto the pages. This keeps your partner in the dark—literally—to the fact that you’re still awake with a book.
If you use a nightstand lamp, the bulbs shouldn’t be more than 50 to 60 watts, which will give you enough light to read without illuminating the entire room.
Besides just getting a low-wattage bulb, choose one that filters out blue light (the spectrum of light that interferes with melatonin). This will help your body maintain its natural circadian rhythm so that you don’t have trouble falling asleep once you’re done reading.
Adorn your bedside light with a lampshade that covers the entire bulb. That way, the shade will shield the bulb from your eyesight and limit how bright the area is.
If you start dozing off mid-read, be sure to switch off the lamp. Keeping the light on while you’re counting sheep is linked with more shallow sleep and causes people to wake up more frequently during the night. You might also end up sleeping in an unusual position—such as sitting with your head tilted forward—and waking up with neck or back pain.