Healthy Home – The Bedroom – Sleep: Light and Melatonin


The Bedroom – Sleep: Light and Melatonin

Today I’ll expand on the topic of sleep, and share with you the role of light and melatonin in its quality.  Melatonin is nicknamed the “hormone of darkness” and is produced by the pineal gland.  It regulates our sleep-wake cycle and helps the body go into sleep mode.  It causes drowsiness, lowers our body temperature, and slows our metabolic functions.  Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect us against free radicals, reducing their effect, help against aging, degenerative diseases, and boost our immune system.  Interesting studies have found a possible relationship between melatonin and beast cancer.

Melatonin production is light sensitive, thus when light is present, its production drops significantly.  Any small amount of light is enough to affect it.  Therefore, make sure that your blinds completely block off any street light from your windows.  Also, sources of light in the blue range (ie: computer, television, cell phones, etc.) have been found to have the most effect on melatonin.  Ideally, all these items should be taken out of the bedroom completely, but if you must have some, an alarm clock for example, use one with lighting in the red spectrum, it will less of an effect on your sleep.

To sum it up, do your best to eliminate any source of light in your room during your sleep, and you’ll enjoy a much better night’s rest.