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Is sleeping in a completely dark room really necessary?

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Updated April 02, 2014 at 4:06 AM
Created March 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Is sleeping in a completely dark room really necessary?

Has anyone tried both and noticed a difference - if so do you think it was placebo?

The research on this stuff is unconvincing. Lights in the room are annoying, but light coming from outside can mimick the moon and isn't bad.

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540 · April 02, 2014 at 4:06 AM

my understanding that the shade/color of the light matters, so this would make sense. the blue light emitted by electronics/tv etc is supposedly more stimulating to the brain than yellow, amber etc.

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0 · April 01, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Is there any good evidence that low light significantly impacts melatonin? especially if your eyes are closed?

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86 · April 01, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I absolutely can not sleep without earplugs...sound, even at its slightest overrides any kind of light for me.

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4373 · April 01, 2014 at 1:48 AM

could be age related as well...ie. when your young & unbreakable 'nothing' matters.

but as you get older we prob need to make sure we get good/bright light during the day & darkness during the night. possibly due to melatonin production getting screwed as we age, deterioration of eyesight & the pineal gland may be a factor/contributor as we age

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4373 · April 01, 2014 at 1:44 AM

too much (or too bright) moonlight (e.g. full moon) may not be so good...? think lunatic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunatic ...?

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255 · April 01, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Everyone knows CAVEMEN slept in caves. They're not called PLANESMEN or TREESMEN, of course they evolved sleeping in the dark. :)

On a more serious note, it's not even what we 'evolved doing' it's really about what's ideal.

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2302 · April 01, 2014 at 3:40 PM

If you are having problems sleeping then a dark room would be helpful...if you are sleeping fine then no need.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it is broke, buy blackout blinds.

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4936 · April 01, 2014 at 8:11 AM

I think it is a "fashion" rather than a need thing. I'm sure for one thing that, since the taming and use of fire, people would likely have slept near enough to a fire to be safe(r) from potential predators. And fires cast a fair bit of light...

Also, in many hot countries (even as far north as the Mediterranean) a sleep (siesta) during the hottest hours would be the norm - and that would have been three or four hours in bright light, just out of the direct sun or as deep a natural shade as could be found. Not dark!

I do find that in a dark room in the UK, while it makes no difference to going to sleep for me, I can be inclined to oversleep if the degree of light which I am used to isn't there to wake me.

I think eyelids do a pretty good job at keeping excess light out...

Now noise - that's a different thing. I do like a quiet bedroom.

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519 · April 01, 2014 at 12:44 AM

Over the last couple of years I've tried the eyeshade and ear plugs.

For me, it's blocking out all sound that makes the biggest difference. For darkness, I just need a certain level, but certainly not completely blackness.

One interesting thing to note: Bright lights during the daytime (get outside!) affect melatonin secretion and quality of sleep at night.

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86 · April 01, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I absolutely can not sleep without earplugs...sound, even at its slightest overrides any kind of light for me.

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675 · April 01, 2014 at 12:23 AM

For me it's a function of intensity..... low levels, moon or starlight levels are ok, very bright street lights, billboards, etc are a problem for me.

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540 · April 02, 2014 at 4:06 AM

my understanding that the shade/color of the light matters, so this would make sense. the blue light emitted by electronics/tv etc is supposedly more stimulating to the brain than yellow, amber etc.

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41312 · April 01, 2014 at 12:05 AM

We did not evolve sleeping in darkness, so why would we need to now?

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255 · April 01, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Everyone knows CAVEMEN slept in caves. They're not called PLANESMEN or TREESMEN, of course they evolved sleeping in the dark. :)

On a more serious note, it's not even what we 'evolved doing' it's really about what's ideal.

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255 · March 31, 2014 at 11:24 PM

I guess you would need to define necessary.

If you mean required to sleep, then no, plenty of people can sleep in a fully lit room. Sadly your bodys melatonin production is negatively effected by light, so it could and probably does negatively impact sleep depending on the level of light. Obviously 1 led from a power strip is different from the hallway light being on with the door open and a street light shining through your open window. The situation is a really no-lose situation, you can only benefit.

Also why would the light from the moon or any light for that matter benefit sleep or 'not be bad'?

1c0aedabf44b6ac40db8cf880b762c7a
0 · April 01, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Is there any good evidence that low light significantly impacts melatonin? especially if your eyes are closed?

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