Why you shouldn’t sleep with the lights on

(ORDO NEWS) — A laboratory study conducted by scientists from the US National Academy of Sciences in March of this year showed that even moderate exposure to light during sleep is harmful to our health.

The first negative effect is related to the effect of artificial lighting on heart rate.

This feature is a mechanism built into our sympathetic nervous system that, when exposed to daylight on the retina, can make our heart beat faster.

It has been proven that during the day such exposure increases our vigilance in solving everyday tasks, but at night it is an additional risk factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases.

In addition, it became known about the effect of artificial light on the body’s resistance to insulin during a night’s sleep.

Insulin resistance is a condition where muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond well to insulin and cannot use glucose from the blood for energy.

To compensate, the pancreas produces even more insulin, which leads to high blood sugar levels and increases the risk of developing diabetes.

Effect on biorhythms

Even weak artificial lighting during sleep negatively affects natural biorhythms. In the eyes of a person, there are special photoreceptors that are responsible for the release of a special sleep hormone, melatonin, in the pineal gland (pineal gland).

The rhythm of melatonin secretion belongs to the group of so-called “strong” rhythms, which are generated by the body and are directly related to the level of illumination.

After dark, the concentration of melatonin in the body gradually increases, causing a mild sedative effect in a person.

In addition, the level of secretion of other hormones changes, the content of which also depends on the time of day.

It also serves as a kind of antioxidant. It destroys free radicals accumulated in the body and protects us from premature aging.

In bright light, as well as active use of electronic gadgets or TV before bedtime, melatonin is destroyed, so sleep can become superficial and disturbing. First of all, immunity and our eating behavior suffer from this.

The next day, a poorly rested person, as a rule, begins to consume more sweets.

Thus, the body tries to compensate for the lack of energy by replenishing it with the help of fast carbohydrates. And this, as you know, is the first step on the way to being overweight and obese.

The worst effect on falling asleep is provided by modern LED lamps, the color temperature of which, as you know, is an order of magnitude higher than that of conventional incandescent lamps.

Their spectrum is closer to the harmful blue light due to the crystals underlying them. They help manufacturers to get light in a wider range.

The negative effect of blue light occurs in the lenses of our eyes due to a special photochemical reaction, which results in active oxygen accumulated in the retina, which suppresses the production of melatonin and leads to visual impairment.

Ripple of light

Since we have touched on the topic of the harmful effects of LED lamps, it is worth saying a few words about their pulsation.

Unlike classic incandescent lamps, the pulsation of which is usually within eye-safe limits (about 5%), for an LED lamp this figure can reach dangerous 30%.

This is due to their design, or to be more precise, the driver, which serves as a voltage stabilizer in the lamp.

Of course, not all modern light bulbs suffer from such a disease, but only those where, instead of more expensive microcircuits with a transformer, the manufacturer installs a capacitor with a diode bridge as a stabilizer.

A cheap capacitor cannot provide acceptable voltage stabilization due to the nature of its operation. To maintain the voltage at the proper level, it is forced to constantly recharge, as a result, the lamp begins to flicker.

Ripple is an insidious enemy that is difficult to spot with a cursory glance.

However, it can be easily detected using the camera of your smartphone, provided that it is equipped with a light sensor. Simply turn on your camera and point it at one of your bedroom lamps.

Determining a “bad” lamp without a smartphone is also quite simple.

The colder the light, the more blue it emits, so when choosing, you should give preference to lamps with a wider operating voltage range and a ripple factor of up to 20%.

For bona fide manufacturers, these parameters are indicated on the packaging.


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