Getting enough sleep is essential for your health, but the quality of your sleep also matters. More worryingly, a link between sleep habits and cardiovascular health has been firmly established. In particular, one bedtime practice was found to be potentially devastating.
Read on to find out more.
Adjust Your Lighting
In a recent study, 20 young adults were asked to sleep in a laboratory for two nights. Half were given a room lit by 100 lux (the same illumination as a TV screen), while the other half were given a completely dark room.
The scientists then attached equipment to monitor the blood levels of the participants. They also measured their heart rates and brain waves before the study candidates retired to bed. The results indicated that those in rooms with minimal light slept better than those in brighter accommodation. The first group also had increased insulin levels.
Sleeping With the Lights On
The study revealed that sleeping in a modestly lit room could increase the chances of diabetes or heart problems. These results supported other experiments showing that exposure to light during sleep increases the heart rate. These research studies concluded that illuminated bedrooms prevented individuals from getting the full restorative benefits of sleep.
This suggests that the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates the heart rate, was being stimulated even when they were asleep. The constant activity puts the body in a fight-or-flight state, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Turn Off the Lights
If you can’t alter the light environment in your home, consider installing blackout curtains or a wearing mask to block out light while you’re sleeping.