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Caution, sleep light can be bad for health

In a day, how long will your eyes be exposed to the light? In the office, maybe your eyes are exposed to lights about 8-9 hours. When you get home, your eyes will be exposed to the lights again. Most likely the length of time you are exposed to lights at home about four hours before you sleep. That means about 12 hours your eyes are exposed to the light in just a day.

So, have you ever thought about the health of your eyes because of continuous exposure to the lights? Is there a light that is 'friendly' to the eye and does not give a bad health effect on the eye?

Sleep habits accompanied by a bright sleep lamp save the possibility of adverse effects on health. Besides being able to interfere with the body's circadian rhythms, research shows the possible contribution of nighttime light to obesity, depression, and even cancer.

Each color of light can cause unequal effects. Lights with blue light during the day can have a positive effect on mood and increase concentration. However, the effect can be reversed at night, because blue light actually has a negative impact on the body when it's time to rest.

Sleep light

Tips for choosing lights that are comfortable for the eyes

According to Helen Walls from the Australian National University, exposure to 45 hours of light a week can have negative effects. Exposed to a fluorescent light increasing the risk of developing cataracts 2-12% at the age of 50 years. This of course must be your concern, which is usually exposed to light for a long time.

What if you work and often have to look at the computer screen? When using a computer, if the lamp is used properly, it can help reduce eye health problems. Eye health expert (Ophthalmology) from Harvard Medical School, Laura C. Fine, in his book The Aging Eye said, when turning on the computer you should avoid the lights that highlight directly or cause reflection to the monitor screen.

He also suggested resting his eyes once every hour when working using a computer. Removing a glance at objects other than a computer will help reduce eye fatigue.

Indeed, there are rules in choosing a lamp so that your eyes are comfortable and not easily tired. A good lamp will make your eyes not tired quickly and you can work more productively. Unfortunately, there are no lights that can match natural light. According to Terry Mcgowan, Director of Technology for American Lighting Association there are no lights that can meet everyone's needs. Different ages usually require different types and strengths of lights.

However, McGowan provides tips for selecting lights that are comfortable for the eye in general. Choose a type of compact flurorescent lights (CFL) and LED lamps with a light temperature level of 2700-3000 Kelvin. CFL is a first generation model energy saving lamp. There is an elongated shape which is threaded. While LED is the latest generation of energy-saving lamps with bulb-like shapes.

Beware of the Light of the Night when Sleeping

Melatonin is a hormone that affects the body's circulating rhythms or biological rhythms that last 24 hours. Light emission to the body when sleeping at night can actually inhibit the formation of melatonin.

This melatonin deficiency is thought to be associated with sleep disorders and general health disorders. That is why melatonin can also be given as a sleeping drug to help a person to sleep more easily and be used to overcome sleep disorders.

Health Problems related to exposure to light at night

If the light is sleeping until it causes sleep disturbance, here are some risks regarding health problems that can occur:

  • Obesity

From a study, it was found that the possibility of sleeping habits using light can have an impact on eating patterns that increase the risk of overweight.

  • Depression

A study shows that it is possible to use sleep lights, even with low light, can increase certain physiological changes. The effects of these changes can cause certain changes in the brain and trigger depression. However, this is still being studied.

  • Reproductive health problems

Exposure to light at night is often experienced in people who work with shift work systems. This can lead to reproductive health problems, especially in women. A study states that the more often a woman works with the system, the higher the risk of menstrual cycles being disrupted. The researchers suspect, this is also related to the sleep cycle which disrupts the stability of hormones.

  • Cancer

A study says that the shift work system can interfere with the sleep cycle and become one of the risk factors for prostate cancer and breast cancer. In line with this, other studies suggest that a night's sleep with a burning sleep lamp is one of the factors that can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Sleep Tips with Safe Light

Sleep quality will also affect the quality of one's health in general. Therefore, in order to avoid sleep disturbances caused by light in the sleep lamp, you can apply the following tips:

  • Turn off all light sources, including cellphones, TVs and computers. It is recommended to turn it off from one hour before going to bed.
  • If you need a light sleeper, wear the red one with dim lighting when you sleep, because of the lowest effect on circadian rhythms and melatonin, when compared to other colors.
  • Limit the lighting that enters your room. If there is bright light from outside the room, you can provide a barrier or by wearing a blindfold.
  • Avoid turning on bright lights when you wake up at night. When you wake up to do something and need to use lighting, use a light with a dim light that is red or yellowish.
  • When you are active during the day, use bright enough lighting. This will help you to sleep at night.
  • If you work at night, try to get enough rest during the day. When sleeping at home, leave the room completely dark so that the body can rest. If necessary, use sunglasses to avoid exposure to light.
  • If you are afraid of the dark, there are many ways to overcome it. You can read guidebooks to overcome dark fears or conduct cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome phobias of darkness.

Actually there is no need to sleep at night to get quality sleep. If you are forced to use it, choose the light instead of blue. Although all colors still store the risk of inhibiting melatonin production, the effect of blue light can inhibit melatonin production up to twice as strong as other colors.



Brudnowska, J. & Pepłońska, B. NCBI, National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine (2011). Night shift work and cancer risk: a literature review. Medycyna Pracy, 62(3): 323-38. Harvard Health Publishing (2017). Blue light has a dark side.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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