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What to Do If You Forget Your Sleep Mask

If donning a sleep mask is a permanent part of your bedtime routine, then you know that it can be a hard habit to give up. In fact, you might even feel like you’re addicted to using it. After all, it can be quite useful. When light disrupts your zzz’s, whether it’s from your partner’s bedside lamp, a nightlight, the glow of a computer screen, or a streetlight that floods into your bedroom window, your sleep may be worsened. When it’s dark, however, your body produces more melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your internal body clock, so you can fall asleep faster. Wearing a sleep mask ensures that as much light as possible…

Reading Lights for Your Bedroom

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! Try a Book Light.Skip the overhead…

What is Non-24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder?

Most people have a 24-hour circadian rhythm that is largely driven by light and darkness. Every 24 hours, you make a full cycle, going from being awake, to sleepy, to awake again. And unless you force your circadian rhythm to move earlier or later (like if you are a shift worker), it usually syncs with daylight and nighttime. But this isn’t true for everyone. If you have Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (a.k.a. “Non-24”), your circadian rhythm isn’t always matched up with daytime and nighttime because your cycle is longer than 24 hours. As a result, you go from being on the same sleep cycle as everyone else to slowly shifting your sleepiness later and…

How External Lights Affect Your Sleep

How artificial light affects our sleep patterns Whether neon numbers glare from your nightstand alarm clock, your iPhone lights up when receiving a message, or the television screen glows bright on your bedroom dresser, artificial light is all around us. While it may help us be more productive during the day, all of this artificial light comes with a cost, especially when it comes to sleep. The Effects of Artificial Light As lamps and indoor lights have allowed you to remain awake long past sunset, they’ve also caused you to move farther and farther away from natural sleep patterns. People who lived during the Industrial Age, before artificial lights, slept very differently from the way we sleep…

Choosing the Right Light Bulbs for Your Home

Be strategic about your lighting sources to get a good night’s sleep. Bright light (think: a sunny summer day) not only boosts your mood, it also makes you feel energized, awake, and alert. That’s great news during the daytime. But come sundown, exposure to artificial light that mimics natural light can be detrimental to your sleep by suppressing melatonin, your body’s slumber hormone. Since you’re probably not about to hit the sack as soon as the sun goes down, the next best thing is to be smart about choosing light bulbs for your home. Incandescent Bulbs These are the most commonly-used light bulbs (think soft white, traditional-looking bulbs), and are generally inexpensive. They give off a…

Should I Use a Nightlight?

A look inside whether the glow has to go It seems pretty obvious: If you want to be able to see in your bedroom at night, plug in a dim nightlight to cut through the darkness. But even though a nightlight will help guide you on your nighttime trips to the bathroom, it can cost you. Having a nightlight in your room will disturb natural melatonin production. Why does that matter? Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep. And even with your eyelids closed, the light is detected and your brain gets confused about what time it is. As a result, your body doesn’t produce as much melatonin. This doesn’t just impair your sleep….