It is believed that complete darkness is the key to beauty sleep. A well-rested body and mind is a prerequisite for good health. There are a few things that are instrumental to a good-night’s sleep. For example, avoiding alcohol and caffeine just before bed time, eating a light dinner, resisting the urge to check the phone, etc.
However, what a lot of people do not realise, is that for a sound sleep, it is also imperative that it happens in darkness. For the blessed, who can sleep anytime, anywhere, this may seem insignificant, but contrary to popular beliefs, the circumstances under which you sleep affect the processes of regeneration.
While it hasn’t still been figured out why we sleep, it is known that lack of sleep can bring about a biological catastrophe, and have us collapsing like a pack of cards. Films like A Nightmare on Elm Street have successfully managed to drive home the truth that the human body cannot keep resisting sleep. And since we don’t have a Freddy Krueger chasing us, we might as well take the advice.
But, why sleep in the dark?
There are reasons aplenty for choosing to sleep in the dark. One of them has to do with diabetes. A study conducted by the Northwestern University revealed that keeping a light on while sleeping, could raise the risk of diabetes. In the study, it was found that sleeping under a bright light drove up insulin resistance.
Also, there are several studies that show that a disturbed/poor sleep ups the risk of depression, cancer of the breast and prostate, besides adding other metabolic diseases.
Human bodies produce melatonin — a ‘sleep’ hormone secreted by the pineal gland — that allows us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Mostly produced between 11 pm and 3 am (per the natural biological sleep cycle), it gets interrupted if exposed to any kind of natural artificial light.
The melatonin supports the body’s immune system and less secretion of it can cause fatigue, irritability, anxiety, hormonal imbalance and other problems.