We all have those long nights where we just can’t seem to get to sleep. It’s a common problem, and has been since the dawn of humanity. But the problem of sleep deprivation has increased dramatically in recent years, especially since the early 1900s when light bulbs were first introduced en mass. We now live in an age of perpetual light, where even the night sky is illuminated with the dull glow of streetlights, stadiums, and parking lots. Now that doctors have begun studying the conditions around us, they’re finding that it may be more hazardous than you think.
We all do it. Maybe you watch a little bit of T.V. before falling asleep, or try to get through those last few levels of Candy Crush before you drift off, but doctors are now finding that constant levels of light throughout the day may be helping us to see, but they are also adversely affecting our health. It’s not that all light is bad for you, certain levels of UV radiation can actually improve your mood if you live in areas where little sunlight is being produced, like the North West, but certain levels of lighting are actually better for you at certain times of the day.
Forms of Light
The light from the sun does not hit the Earth universally throughout the entire day. In the mornings, more blue light is allowed to enter the atmosphere thanks to the sun’s angle towards the Earth. At night, less blue light is allowed in, and red light takes its place. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the human physiology has adapted to this fact, and blue light actually helps to wake you up and keep you alert, while red light helps the brain to calm down and become less active. This, in short, has created what is called our ‘circadian rhythm.’
We have become adapted to waking up when the sun rises, and falling asleep when the sun sets. But the recent revolution in lighting has thrown us off of our rhythm, and doctors are saying that there’s a solution. By switching out certain lights for others, or using light covers to block out certain wavelengths at certain times of the day, we could actually be thrown back into our circadian rhythm and avoid the wide number of illnesses that are exacerbated by lack of sleep.
“It’s become clear that typical lighting is affecting our physiology,” says Dr. Richard Stevens, a cancer specialist at the University of Connecticut, “but lighting can be improved.” This can be achieved in a variety of ways. Try turning off electronics a few hours before you go to bed. Or, for a more probable solution, try covering your fluorescents with our NaturaLux™ Fluorescent Lighting Filters that bring you a more natural feel to your lighting. Click the button below to view our selection, and begin your journey to better sleep, better lighting, and better health.