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While we are starting to pay attention to how important sleep is, the need for dark is still mostly ignored.
Being exposed to regular patterns of light and dark regulates our circadian rhythm. Disruption of this rhythm may increase the risk of developing some health conditions including obesity, diabetes and breast cancer.
On its own, the circadian rhythm takes almost 24 hours. Our bodies rely on the Sun to reset this cycle and keep it at 24 hours, the length of our days. Light and the dark are important signals for the cycle.
During the night, body temperature drops, metabolism slows, and the hormone melatonin rises dramatically. When the Sun comes up in the morning, melatonin has already started falling, and you wake up.
During the dark, levels of the hormone leptin (hunger control), go up. This means we do not feel hungry while low levels make us hungry.
Ans research found that sleep disruption and turning on lights lowers leptin levels which makes people hungry in the middle of the night.
Some kinds of light make you more alert and more awake, and others have less of an effect:
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The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.
Purpose of Sleep:
The first purpose of sleep is restoration.
Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.
The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.
Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.
Around 30 to 50 percent of people sleep between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. Another 40 percents are either slightly morning people or slightly evening people.
The body is an orchestra of organs, each providing an essential function. In this metaphor, the circadian rhythm is the conductor. The conductor makes every neurotransmitter, every hormone, and every chemical in the body cycle with the daily rhythm.
This makes us our sleep habits unique and tailored.
Being a morning (or evening) person is inborn, genetic, and very hard to change.
Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert.
However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm
During the day: