What is the best colored light for sleeping?
We live an illuminated life, but when we’re trying our best to power down from the world, what is the best colored light for sleeping? Does the color of the light really affect our sleeping health? Let’s explore the dark side (and in this article, that’s a good thing) of sleep health and how light exposure could be dimming your z’s.
How light affects sleep
Here’s an illuminating fact: LED and blue light exposure at night can cause both mental and physical issues. (Say watt?)
Let’s put it this way: in the olden-days (pre-global illumination) the sun was the sole source of lighting. The evenings were cast in darkness and only lit up by a few candles…
Cue modern society: everything is illuminated.
Energy-efficient LED lights are the new candlesticks. Our electronics cast a blue glow onto our evening routines, and darkness is locked outdoors. Are we paying the price for basking in all this light? Our sleep could be.
Exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences our circadian rhythms. During the day, the blue light, the type of bright light that comes from natural sunlight and the LCD/LED screens of our electronic devices, can boost our attention, reaction times and moods.
But, exposure to this light at night disrupts our biological clocks, stops our production of melatonin and keeps our bodies awake. It can also cause sleep disruptions, particularly from light pollution, which has been seen to increase the risk of depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
So, what is the best colored light for sleeping? (Because we know we can’t keep you in the dark forever, sorry, not sorry). Try switching your lamps to warmer hues. Reddish or orange lights are less likely to interfere with your melatonin production and send you into the land of nod.
Do colored sleep lights work?
Yes, if you’re trying to comfort kids (or yourself) who are afraid of the dark (we don’t judge) or need a sleep soother to calm your mind at the end of the day. Sleep lights should be seen as assistants of the dark. Their use is to shed soft (orange, red or yellow) light on activities after ‘lights off.’
Using a softer light (rather than switching on the sun) helps keep your mind in the snooze-zone during midnight wake-ups, as well as keeping little minds soothed when the dark becomes too scary. But like all things in the sleep world, improving your sleep is not as simple as changing a lightbulb.
To improve sleep, especially in the luminary department, your sleep hygiene habits need to be on point. This means that all electronics need to be put down before bed and your bedroom (or your child’s) is a sanctuary to welcome sleep.
What is the most relaxing light color?
If we’re honest, no light is the most relaxing light for sleep. But we get it; total darkness is a luxury for some. So, if you’re going to pick a color to help you sleep soundly, what should it be?
Red light has been seen to be the most sleep-friendly hue as it aids in melatonin production and doesn’t act as a stimulant to our bodies. Red light, or any light with a warmer tone, doesn’t affect our eyes’ sensitivity receptors which send a ‘wake-up’ alert to our brains, it does the opposite, keeping our minds calm and relaxed.
Sleep better at night with red color therapy
It’s time to go red, before bed.
As we’re surrounded by the blue-light brigade in our tech, homes and the sky, our natural body-clocks are becoming overcharged. Red color light therapy is emerging as a potentially effective alternative to sleeping aids (medication in particular), as well as a way to promote cellular healing by combating sleep disruptions caused by physical and mental problems (you know, that thing we call life).
Exposure to red light and its wavelengths has been seen to affect the way our cells produce energy and antioxidants. This improved efficiency may help heal bones, nerves, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Just like your body restores itself during sleep, red light can further assist your body into producing all these restorative functions that have otherwise been “dulled” by common overexposure to blue light.
Whether you’re a ‘lights on or lights off’ type of sleeper, getting peaceful sleep may just be a switch away.