Negative Health Effects from Sleeping with the Lights On
August 8, 2017
Do you fall asleep with the lights on? Are you known for falling asleep watching TV? Or maybe you just so happen to live by a street lamp that shines through your window. It is possible that you are harming yourself more than you think.
Health Problems From Sleeping With Lights On
More health risks are becoming known to researchers about the negative effects of sleeping with the lights on. You may think you are fine leaving an LED bulb on or that the nearby street lights won’t impact you, but the truth is that you couldn’t be more wrong. Sleep is precious and so is your health. If you want to maintain good care of your health while getting a good quality of sleep, then it can be wise to understand how light can potentially negatively affect you while you sleep!
Greater Risks for Cancer
It may be hard to believe, but sleeping with the lights on can increase your chances of getting cancer. According to MIT News, research has indicated that an internal clock is dictated by light and helps to manage the understanding of time by directing cellular function like metabolism. A study from MIT found that two genes in charge of these directions for the understanding of time have the ability to suppress tumors. Getting rid of the gene as well as a confusion with the routine of light and darkness can be causes of depleted tumor suppressors and make potential tumors worse. With this understanding, the people that would be most impacted with a greater risk for cancer would be employees who work the night shift, such as plice, medical staff, etc.
There has also been sepereate research listed about the higher risk rate of getting breast cancer for women who reside by street lights or street lamps. This is thought by researchers to due to a change in levels of melatonin – a asleep=regulating hormone that is believed to ward off cancerous cells. Melatonin is produced more at night and less when eyes meet the light. Women who are exposed to light during the night may have a decreased amount of melatonin, which in turn weakens the body’s ability to ward off cancer cells.
If you fall asleep with the television set on, then it’s time to know what you have been doing to your body. Though the light may be different, the blue light being transmitted through the television – and even computer or cell phone – can prove to be just as, if not more, harmful. This type of light emits blue light which creates changes in the hormones of your body, such as a decrease in melatonin when you are exposed to the light. The human body is designed to grow tired when it’s dark and awaken when it is light out, but the artificial lighting can throw off this understanding which ultimately means there is a mess up in our hormones.
As if an increased risk of cancer and hormonal changes wasn’t enough of a reason to be cautious of the lights surrounding you particularly at night, then the possibility of an increased risk of developing heart problems should help. According to Harvard Health Publications, a study has connected poor rest to heart complications and since light has an effect on the quality of sleep, it can keep people awake due to its ability to crush melatonin.
Greater Chances of Depression
Who would have thought that leaving a light on or being near bright lights when you are sleeping could increase your risk of struggling with depression? Light keeps people awake which can lead to a poor quality of sleep, and it was discovered that light impacts the brain’s regulation for mood. A study conducted by a biologist from John Hopkins was published in the journal Nature, which concluded that light affects the neurological structure of the brain involved with emotion. Too much light at the inappropriate time – such as bedtime – can have the unwanted effects of depression.
Be Cautious of Night Time Light Use
All in all, there are several potential complications that may result from you sleeping with lights on. To prevent these risks that may result from you leaving lights on during bedtime, it isn’t necessary to leave yourself in constant darkness but it can be helpful to limit your light usage during the evening. Closing the blinds or curtains to block street lights, refraining from turning on a bright light if you wake up in the middle of the night, turning the television off before trying to get some sleep, and limiting your cell phone use during the evening can prove to help you by preventing an excessive amount of light getting to you at night.