When you think of sleep and the sense of sight, I’m sure you think of darkness. When trying to sleep, lights are typically turned off and eyes are closed, so what can you possibly do (besides closing your eyes) to increase sleep quality when it comes to sight?
We are glad you asked!
Let’s start with basic cleanliness. Results from a survey commissioned by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggest that people sleep much better when their bedrooms are comfortable and clean. A well-organized clean bedroom can make all the difference in how you generally feel prior to sleep.
Electronics & Artificial Lighting
Sunlight and artificial light work to activate the brain’s natural reaction to wake up. Light suppresses melatonin production and keeps your mind working as if it was not preparing for sleep.
Optimal sleep conditions revolve around complete darkness and minimal to zero electronic disturbances. When creating the optimal sleep room, begin to take an inventory of products that harm sleep quality. You will notice that electronics typically encircle your bed and some may even sleep with you (i.e. cell phone, and tablets).
Televisions are a huge distraction and they do not make your bedroom conducive to sleep. Many surveys suggest that many Americans might be losing valuable shut-eye because they spend the hour before bedtime in front of the electronic glow of a television, cell phone, tablet or computer. We recommend removing televisions from a bedroom entirely to prevent watching television in bed. If you want to watch television, go to the living room. When you want to sleep go to the BEDroom. Separating the two rooms will help your internal consciousness of identifying your bedroom with sleep and your living room with entertainment.
When relaxing in bed prior to sleep it is recommended to use a nightstand light with a low wattage light bulb. This reduces the amount of light in the room to one light source. This light source is preferred for reading as opposed to backlit devices (i.e. tablets and smartphones). An eReader on the other hand that does not operate off of a backlit lighting source (i.e. Amazon Paper White Tablet) is a good alternative to a book and nightstand light.
Have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? DO NOT turn on the lights. Use a flashlight to go to the bathroom - keep the light to a minimum so it will be easier to go back to sleep.
Sunlight as opposed to artificial light regulates our sleep cycle and is why we sleep at night and are up during the day. If you are having trouble regulating your sleep cycle, it is recommended to wake up and go to a window or go outside to let natural sunlight naturally wake you. It is also recommended to regulate your sleep patterns by going to sleep and waking up