Managing Light Exposure to Improve Your Sleep

Managing Light Exposure to Improve Your Sleep

Whether you work at night or not, darkness is an essential element to ensure you can get to and stay asleep. Not having any light will signal to your brain that it’s time for rest. In addition, when it’s dark, your body releases the hormone melatonin known as the sleep hormone to make you relax and feel slightly cooler, making you feel drowsy and eventually fall asleep.  

    Get Black Out Curtains or Blinds – Making your sleeping space dark is a great way to help yourself fall asleep faster. Any light coming in from outside, even the moonlight, can disturb your sleep. You can buy blackout curtains at any Walmart these days. 

    Wear an Eye Mask – If you can’t make your room dark enough because you’re in a hotel, or you have to sleep in a space you have no control over, get a mask to block out the light. 

    Dim Lights One Hour Before Bedtime – To help your body start releasing the right hormones for sleeping, turn down the lights one hour before bedtime. Keeping the light dim or low will signal to your brain that it’s time for bed. 

    Remove Digital Devices from Your Bedroom – It may be scary to do this because you feel you need to be available to others 24/7 but keep your phone and other digital devices out of your room. If they have any light on them at all, don’t bring them to your room. 

    Purposely Expose Yourself to Light Early in the Day – A great tip that works wonders for people having trouble sleeping at night is to make sure you get light before noon. All you need is about 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day to help your body release the right hormones to keep you awake during the day and, in turn, help you go to sleep at night. 

Getting too much light too late at night can interfere with your sleeping schedule. When you can control and manage the light exposure you receive every day, you’ll do so much better getting to sleep and staying asleep. 

Managing light exposure is a crucial strategy for better sleep. This tip is part of our comprehensive guide on 10 Proven Tips to Avoid Insomnia and Sleep Better Every Night. To further enhance your sleep, read about Developing a Nighttime Routine.