It has been long proven that being exposed on certain light can help in regulating our circadian rhythm. Therefore, it will not be surprising why most of us will fall asleep in the dark and will wake up at daylight.
However, upon further research, experts have discovered that it is more than just the light that is affecting our body clock, it is actually the color that is being emitted by the light.
In this article, we will identify what color light helps you sleep better.
Table of Contents
- Understanding What Color Light Helps You Sleep Better
- Clinical Studies That Supports the Power of Red Light in Helping You Sleep
- Red Light Encourages Our Body to Produce Natural Melatonin
- Blue Light Will Make It Difficult for You to Fall Asleep
- How to Counteract the Effect of Blue Light
- Additional Tips When Choosing Night Light
Understanding What Color Light Helps You Sleep Better
Sleeping-related problems have always been the issues of most adults. We have all experienced the ill effects of having poor sleep.
You are also probably aware about the health risks that comes with chronic sleeping disorder. Fortunately, certain color of light can induce sleep.
Red Can Help You Sleep Better
According to the study, the hamster that is exposed to red light has showed less symptoms related to depression.
They also showed a very low brain changes in relation to a depressive state especially when compared to hamsters that are exposed to white or blue light.
iPRCG, a unique cell that is photosensitive, is found in our retina. These are extremely sensitive cells that can detect light and will immediately send the message to our brain.
This area of the brain helps in stabilizing our circadian rhythm. These cells have high sensitivity against blue light and have a lowest sensitivity towards the red lights.
During the study, the hamster that was exposed to the blue light showed the worst symptoms related to depression.
This was then followed by the hamsters in white lights. While sleeping in the total darkness is indeed the best result, sleeping in red light was not as bad when compared to the other color lights.
Clinical Studies That Supports the Power of Red Light in Helping You Sleep
If the above study was not enough to convince you that red can help you achieve a better sleep, here are more research and reports that might encourage you to change the lighting in your bedroom.
A research in 2018
A research in 2018 discovered the effect of red light towards people who are suffering from migraine.
They found out that it will not only reduce the episodes of headaches related with migraine, but it also helps them sleep better.
A 2014 study
A 2014 study that focuses on the cognitive function of humans suffering from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) discovered that there was a considerable improvement in their cognitive function, there was also a significant decrease in their PTSD that have greatly improved their sleep.
Another study last 2012
Another study last 2012 in Taiwan analyzed the brain activity of the patients before and during the entire duration that they have been exposed to red light.
The researchers report that red lights are extremely helpful in helping people with sleeping disorder have a better sleep.
There have been numerous studies conducted related with red-light therapy. They found out that it is indeed powerful in improving the quality of your sleep. One particular study involves women who are players of basketball.
After trying the session for about 14-30 minutes, they discovered that red light is an effective non-invasive and nonpharmacologic treatment for sleeping disorders.
Red Light Encourages Our Body to Produce Natural Melatonin
In case you have problem in catching a good night sleep, you may have heard about the power of melatonin in helping us fall asleep. It is a hormone that helps in regulating our body clock.
Exposure to certain lights can prevent the body from producing the right amount of melatonin that will dramatically increase the time we need to sleep.
Lower amount of melatonin can also decrease the time that we remain asleep. However, if you have been exposed to red light, this will encourage your body to produce more melatonin and it will help you fall and remain asleep.
A study that involves people suffering from traumatic brain injury who went through near infrared and red-light treatment showed that there has been at least 1-hour improvement in their sleep.
Blue Light Will Make It Difficult for You to Fall Asleep
Perhaps you are already aware that blue light can greatly mess your body’s circadian rhythm. In a 2014 study, they discovered that our eReaders that are emitting light can greatly disrupt our sleep.
It disrupts our body’s capacity to produce natural melatonin; thus, increasing wakefulness. During the study, the participants were instructed to read from their iPad and regular books.
Those who used their iPad showed some difficulty in falling asleep. They also have a lower REM once they are asleep.
Studies that Prove the Effect of Blue Light To Our Sleep Pattern
Here are more studies that you should be aware of if you are planning to introduce blue light in your bedroom.
A 2015 study
A 2015 study that was published at the PLOS Biology showed how the sleep of the rodents are affected when they are exposed to light.
The researchers wanted to know specifically how the color of the light affects their suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is the area in our brain that supports the vertebrates in regulating time by sending them chemical and electrical signals.
Researchers have found out that when they were exposed from bright lights to dark lights, the suprachiasmatic nerve has performed poorly for at least 30 minutes.
A summary produced by Harvard University
A summary produced by Harvard University showed how the blue light has a detrimental impact towards the quality of our sleep.
This has even solidified the concept that blue light can suppress the production of melatonin in our body. This greatly increase the time we need to fall asleep. In addition, this also prevents us from staying asleep.
How to Counteract the Effect of Blue Light
There are different ways on how you can nullify the effect of the blue light. However, not all of them may sound appealing. Depending on your habit or situation, some of the solution may not be appropriate for you.
Reducing Your Exposure to Blue Light
Perhaps the easiest way to counter the effect of blue light is to minimize your exposure to this color light before you go to sleep.
You should avoid looking at bright screen at about 2-3 hours before going to bed. Therefore, you will have to avoid using your TV, smartphone, and iPad at night.
Tinted Glasses-In case the above suggestion does not work for you, then you might want to try wearing orange-tinted glasses while looking at the screens of your phone.
This was supported by a study that was published at Journal of Adolescent Health. The study shows that those who wear it will feel sleepier compared to those who did not.
Harvard University also states that wearing glasses that blocks the blue or cyan light can improve your quality of sleep.
Additional Tips When Choosing Night Light
Using red light is not always the best option. For instance, if you are using this in your baby’s room, you don’t want it to appear too dark and at the same time, you don’t want to disturb their sleep.
Choose a Night Light that is Comforting and Reassuring
Not all of us will feel comfortable and safe when introduced in a dark room. Your discomfort can greatly affect your sleeping pattern.
Feeling safe is one of the conditions that can encourage us to sleep. If you are introducing the light in your kid’s room, choose a night light that is playful and fun.
Keeping Lights Dim
Ideally, you will have to maintain a dim light during the entire duration of your sleep.
This should be dim enough that will not disturb your sleep and will allow you to do the things that you need to do in case you wake up in the middle of the night.
Avoid switching into a bright light. It will be more difficult for us to fall asleep once we are exposed to bright light.
Choose Warm Color
In case you don’t want a red light in your bedroom, you may use other colors that belong in the warm spectrum. For instance, you may opt for pink, orange, or yellow light.
Clinical researches have explained how red light can greatly improve our sleep quality. Their low-color temperature creates the perfect ambiance that regulates our circadian rhythm.
Being immersed in this color light at night will not affect your body clock negatively.
This helps us understand that not all lights are created equal. The effect of red light towards our sleep has strengthened the theories behind color psychology.
Now that you are aware on what color lights helps you sleep better; you are probably considering on replacing the light in your bedroom.
However, the light is only one of the factors that can affect our sleep. You should also pay attention to your diet and habit when you want to improve your sleep.
Avoid drinking too much caffeine before going to bed. Stay away from smoking. Do not depend too much on sleeping pills. You should also try painting the walls of your bedroom with the colors that can help you fall asleep.