Sleep is a basic need for humans. Not only as a reliever of sleepiness, sleep serves to keep our bodies healthy and awake. After a tiring day filled with activities, our bodies need adequate rest (sleep).
Everyone's sleep duration needs are different. Adults usually need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day, while teenagers usually need 8 to 9 hours.
To get the maximum benefit from sleep, we need ideal sleep conditions. Ideal sleep can come from your sleeping position, sleeping time, and the atmosphere of the room when sleeping (cold, not noisy, dark, and others). This article will discuss more why the atmosphere of the room when sleeping must be dark.
Some people prefer to sleep in a bright room because they are afraid of sleeping in the dark. However, did you know that we should sleep in the dark? It is not recommended to sleep in a bright atmosphere because it can interfere with your health.
Why Should You Sleep in the Dark?
Sleeping in the dark is the right atmosphere for our bodies and eyes to rest. If you regularly sleep in the dark, then it will provide benefits for the body. Some people have not realized this. Some people prefer to sleep with the lights on because they are afraid of sleeping in the dark.
Then why should we sleep in the dark?
The light that is caught by the eyes not only helps us to see, but can give signals to the body to indicate certain times of the day. For example, our eyes can differentiate between seeing natural light in the morning and evening. We need a dark atmosphere to signal to the body that it is time for us to rest so that the next day our eyes are ready to welcome the morning light.
In the opinion of Joan Robert, a biologist, the body can produce melatonin when sleeping in the dark. The function of melatonin is to increase immunity and ward off disease. On the other hand, if you sleep with the lights on, your body may not be able to produce adequate melatonin. This will cause the brain to be confused whether it is night or day.
If your room has a window, you can cover it at night to prevent light from entering to make you sleep better. You can also use an eye mask if you find it difficult to sleep.
Benefits of Sleeping in the Dark
As already explained, the ideal sleeping condition is in the dark. This is because several studies show that sleeping in the dark can provide many benefits for the body.
Some of the benefits of sleeping in a dark atmosphere are:
Improve Sleep Quality
Sleeping in a dark atmosphere can increase our sleep quality. A dark atmosphere can give a signal to the body that it is time to rest and sleep.
Adjusting light exposure can maintain your circadian cycle. When sleeping in bright conditions, the body may not be able to produce adequate melatonin so the brain will be confused whether it is day or night.
In addition, sleeping in the dark can reduce depression. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, someone who is depressed usually has a bright room when they sleep.
According to research from the New York University of Medicine, light can inhibit the production of melatonin, which naturally increases while we sleep. Melatonin is believed to prevent the growth of tumor cells that can grow into cancer.
Prevent Weight Gain
Some of us do not believe that sleeping in the dark can prevent weight gain; however, a study from Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, states that artificial lights (including gadgets) can affect metabolic processes in the body (which can lead to obesity).
In addition, research conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, states that women who sleep in a bright room tend to have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI). Women who slept with lights on in this study also had a larger waist circumference than women who often slept in the dark.
Maintain Eye Health
In addition, sleeping in a dark atmosphere can also maintain eye health. This is because, when we sleep in a bright atmosphere, subconsciously our eyelids can still respond to the light. Meanwhile, when we sleep in dark conditions, our eyes can also rest optimally.
In a quote from Chronobiology International, it is stated that a person with diabetes gets exposure to brighter light for 4 hours every day before going to bed. This light also includes light from televisions and gadgets. Light coming from electronic devices can suppress melatonin.
Prevent High Blood Pressure
The last benefit of sleeping in the dark is that it can prevent high blood pressure. Chronobiology International also mentions that someone who sleeps in a bright environment has higher blood pressure compared to those who sleep in a dark atmosphere.
Ideal sleep can provide maximum benefits for the body. A body that is tired from daily activities needs to rest optimally so the next day the body wakes up fresh and ready to take on the day.
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