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People feel better and wake up more easily when they are exposed to bright light in the morning hours. When bright light enters the retina of our eyes, it transmit cues to our brain to stay alert. This early, bright light exposure can help us to fall asleep quicker, sleep more soundly, and experience less negative mood during the day.
Bright light exposure during the day has been linked with better sleep and mood. For example, office workers who have more natural light from windows in their work environments have higher quality sleep and fall asleep faster than those without well-lit offices. They also reported lower symptoms of depression than office workers without high levels of light exposure. Specifically, the individuals with natural light are more likely to:
Bright light during the nighttime is not ideal for sleep. Exposure to bright light at night can suppress melatonin, or natural hormones that help us feel sleepy. Some research suggests that using “night shift mode” may not reduce melatonin suppression. Thus, using backlit electronic devices are not guaranteed to prevent mobile device usage from disrupting sleep. Moreover, pre-sleep arousal, or high cognitive engagement before sleep, may contribute to poor sleep regardless of using night shift mode or other forms of blocking bright light.
I am an academic sleep researcher, healthy sleep advocate, and writer. #sleephealth #sleepguide #sleepingtips
Spending time in well-lit areas during the day is an undervalued method to sleep well at night and feel positive emotions during the day.
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