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