Sleep is directly connected to light and dark. Nature intended for us to wake up with the sun, and go to bed at sundown. When sunlight enters our eyes, it causes our body’s melatonin level to drop and increases wakefulness. Darkness causes our melatonin levels to rise and induces sleep. This delays your brain’s release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Thus, the darker your room is, the more soundly you’ll sleep. Research has demonstrated that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles. Therefore, a reduction in melatonin at night is associated with subjective levels of sleeplessness. But melatonin suppression has far worse consequences than simply poor sleep outcomes: it has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to cardio metabolic consequences such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease. With serious consequences like these, preventing melatonin suppression should be a top priority in anyone’s healthy lifestyle.
At Specialty, we feature many types of room darkening window treatments. Call us to set up an appointment to see how we can help you sleep better.