Is sleeping in a completely dark room really necessary?

by (0) 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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6 Replies

2272 · 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.

4888 · 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.

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.

665 · 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.

40692 · April 01, 2014 at 12:05 AM

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

225 · 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'?

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