Light has an intense effect on quality sleep. In the early light of day, exposure to light stimulates our body and mind, encouraging us to wake up, be alert, use the energy we have stored up.
At night, light exposure stimulates alertness. That can be a serious problem for healthy, abundant, refreshing sleep. Light exposure during the evening makes it much harder to fall asleep. If you don’t have enough darkness throughout the night, you will be troubled with frequent and often prolonged awakenings.
How darkness influences sleep
The absence of light sends a critical signal to the body that it is time to rest. Light exposure at the wrong times alters the body's internal "sleep clock"—the biological mechanism that regulates sleep-wake cycles—in ways that interfere with both the quantity and quality of sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain's pineal gland and is often known as the "sleep hormone" or the "darkness hormone." Melatonin sends a signal to the brain that it is time for rest. Your body’s physiological responses prepare you for sleep—muscles begin to relax, feelings of drowsiness increase, body temperature drops.
Melatonin levels naturally rise during the early evening as darkness falls. These hormonal levels continue to climb throughout most of the night, before cresting at about 3 a.m. Melatonin levels then fall during the early morning and remain low during much of the day. Evening light exposure inhibits the naturally timed rise of melatonin, which delays the onset of the body's transition to sleep.
Wearing a sleep mask is a proven way to inhibit light exposure and allow you to get the much needed rest you need. If you work at night and must sleep during the day, a sleep mask can be a lifesaver for ensuring restful sleep.
Take advantage of Island Slumber’s 3D sleep mask sale going on right now. And, remember each purchase you make with Island Slumber ensure another new tree is planted by our affiliate, American Forests. It’s our way of giving back to Mother Earth and helping you feel good about‘living green.